Thanks to a co-ordinated effort between local police departments and transit operators, one of the busiest days of the year for police turned out no different from a busy Saturday.
Saanich police received 53 calls between 5 p.m. and 3 a.m. on July 1 – a smoother Canada Day than in years past, said Saanich police Sgt. Dean Jantzen.
About 30 uniformed officers from Saanich were out Sunday night, including 16 designated to downtown Victoria. Police watched for minors outside liquor stores, poured out alcohol, set up roadblocks and intercepted what Jantzen described as “problem buses.”
“You’d have to see it to believe it,” he said. “Every bus going downtown was stuffed.”
With cell space at a premium on the notorious party night, much of the officers’ efforts were poured into alternate means of dealing with offenders, including calling parents to pick up their children.
“Our focus was on intercepting people who might be a problem downtown later on in the evening,” Jantzen said. “There was a large number of people out there and we did a lot of work behind the scenes. It might not have generated a call or an investigation, but we talked to a ton of people.”