Safety concerns on the rise in Victoria’s downtown after two stabbings in as many weeks


Some residents and businesses are voicing concerns over safety in Victoria as police investigate two stabbings in as many weeks in the city’s downtown core.

“This is really, really concerning,” Victoria resident Nabil Bennett said. “This kind of activity is really uncharacteristic of Victoria.”

On Sunday, police were called to the 700-block of Pandora Avenue around 4 a.m. following a report of a stabbing.

According to Victoria Police, officers arrived at the scene to find one deceased male and another victim, who was transported to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The manager of the Ocean Island Inn has confirmed that the victim taken to hospital was an employee of the hostel.

READ MORE: One person dead, another taken to hospital following stabbing in downtown Victoria: police

Another stabbing took place on March 19 in the 1200-block of Douglas Street.

Victoria police say “multiple officers” responded to the scene around 12:30 p.m. after one person was stabbed by the McDonald’s at the corner of Douglas and View streets.

Norman Cantin, front-of-house manager of John’s Place Restaurant, says these are two tragedies in what he calls a spike of violence in the area.

“There’s definitely been a spike in incidents. Definitely starting to notice a little more things around downtown,” Cantin explained.

He added these incidents are making the downtown core an undesirable place to visit and work.

“I’m very worried about my staff, very worried about our customers,” Cantin said. “We are so busy on weekends people have to stand outside to wait, and we don’t want to make that not easy for them.”

Mayor Marianne Alto says these violent incidents are very concerning but not the reality day-to-day.

“It’s easy and perhaps tempting to draw conclusions from having both two such incidents in a relatively short time period,” Alto explained. “But at the same time, I’m assured by police that these incidents are unique and not related and that their investigations will unfold with that assumption.”

She said as a city grows and becomes more dense, an increase in crime typically follows, adding that while this is concerning, the downtown core is a safe place.

“We have significant confidence in our police service and in the other organizations that are responding, not just to incidents like this in a response base, but in dealing with some of the issues that often lead to them,” Alto said.

Bennett said he is still feeling increasingly concerned about travelling around downtown.

“A lot more needs to be done for safety and security, especially in the downtown core area,” he said.

Alto told CHEK News the city is working with police on a variety of different measures, which should be released to the public soon.

VicPD was unable to provide more information about Sunday’s stabbing, saying the investigation is ongoing.

Mackenzie ReadMackenzie Read

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