The downtown Victoria library has been the target of yet another act of vandalism after one of its windows was smashed overnight.
The latest window-smashing is the sixth time glass has been broken at the Greater Victoria Public Library’s downtown branch since Jan. 28, a GVPL spokesperson confirmed when contacted by CHEK News.
A library patron who witnessed the damage expressed frustration, noting that the ongoing vandalism has resulted in the cancellation of Baby Story Time for the second Wednesday in a row.
He said the cancellation left parents and children out in the cold, wondering why someone would attack their community in such a way.
“It’s just very, very frustrating to hear these types of situations are continuing to occur,” said Downtown Victoria Business Assocation CEO Jeff Bray. “It costs money, it costs time, but it also really impacts people’s morale, I can imagine it doesn’t make those library workers feel particularly safe.”
This latest attack on the GVPL follows a spate of vandalism on downtown Victoria businesses in early February, where authorities were called to the 1100-block of Government Street after a restaurant reported its window had been smashed.
Police later discovered the vandalism stretched across multiple city blocks, with at least six businesses impacted. Police were investigating whether the same person was responsible for all of the damage.
The frustrations among many downtown businesses are growing, with some even considering not renewing their leases.
“Saying we love downtown and business is good but this is becoming too much, or I’m finding it harder to find people willing to work downtown,” said Bray.
Bray says he wants the city to step up enforcement and the province to move faster on things like complex care, involuntary care, and to crack down on repeat offenders.
He’s also hopeful council will approve a motion up for discussion Thursday to extend its vandalism grant program which last year helped 77 businesses make repairs or improve security.
CHEK News reached out to Victoria Police for more information on the vandalism at the library, but did not receive a response as of 7 p.m. Wednesday.