Vancouver police say four men have been arrested after two guns were seized from a tent in a Downtown Eastside street encampment.
Police say the weapons found in the tent near East Hastings and Carrall Street included a loaded shotgun.
The department says in a statement that officers, assisted by its Emergency Response Team, raided the tent around 8 a.m. Sunday after receiving a tip that guns and drugs were inside.
Investigators believe the weapons were being used for protection and to intimidate others in the encampment.
Sgt. Steve Addison says police have become “increasingly concerned” about public safety in and around the encampment.
A 40-year-old from Vancouver, a 23-year-old from Burnaby and two men in their 20s from Surrey are due in court in October to face multiple charges.
“Violence against the public and against our officers is on the rise throughout the Downtown Eastside, and the proliferation of guns in the encampment increases the risk to everyone,” Addison said in the statement.
The street encampment is in the process of being dismantled by city workers after Vancouver’s fire chief ordered it taken down due to fire and safety concerns.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 22, 2022.