Only two candidates running in Victoria weigh into issue affecting city

Only two candidates running in Victoria weigh into issue affecting city

There’s one less patrol vehicle heading out of Victoria Police headquarters.

Early Friday, a suspect rammed a police cruiser while fleeing behind the wheel of a stolen vehicle. Luckily, no one was injured.

In a rash of violence, three Victoria Police officers are recovering after violent assaults in just one week earlier this month.

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Just two of the four main party candidates running in Victoria responded to a request by CHEK News for comment on the escalating violence in the city.

Green Party candidate Nick Loughton said policy changes are not having the intended impact.

“A rise in violence and rise in crime is the wrong direction for what we’re doing here in Victoria.”

Liberal Party candidate Nikki Macdonald said police are working under difficult conditions.

“I think the Victoria Police are trying to do their very best in very challenging circumstances.”

The NDP candidate, Laurel Collins’ campaign did not respond to a request for an interview and Conservative candidate Hannah Hodson cancelled a scheduled interview.

Victoria’s Police Chief, Del Manak, said he’s frustrated when offenders are quickly released on bail only to commit more offences.

“We’re seeing things at a whole new level. I can tell you enough is enough. and it’s gone way too far.”

Earlier this year, a male suspect stole a harbour ferry, taking police on a chase before they managed to arrest him.

24-hours later, the same suspect, smashed tens of thousands of dollars of windows belonging to Victoria businesses.

“There need to be consequences for individuals that are in our community that are causing the greatest harm,” Manak said. “We have to not have a revolving door.”

The Green Party and Liberal candidate were also in agreement on how to tackle crime in the city.

“We’re going to have to tackle the root causes,” Loughton said. “We’re really going to have to tackle poverty, system racism, and inter-generational trauma in society if we are going to move forward, and reduce crime in our community.”

“It’s a small group, but significant group of people are committing these crimes are over and over,” Macdonald said. “And we need to make sure they are getting the mental health supports they need.”

Voters will have their say at the ballot box on Monday, September 20th.

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Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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