Long weekend events stretch Victoria police resources

Special celebrations contribute to higher than average workload for police

A trio of celebrations and long-weekend festivities attracted thousands to Victoria for the B.C. Day holiday and helped keep Victoria police busy.

With the city’s 150th anniversary celebrations happening alongside Symphony Splash and the Victoria Electronic Music Festival, police received 750 calls to their 911 communications centre between Friday and early Tuesday morning. That number was almost 100 higher than the previous weekend.

“This was one of our busiest weekends on record and taxed our policing capabilities to the maximum,” said acting chief John Ducker.

Victoria police estimate 50,000 people attended the Symphony Splash and upwards of 10,000 attended the two-day electronic music event at Centennial Square.

On Saturday night police responded to several incidents in the square, making several arrests for public intoxication, fights, warrants and breaches. Paramedics and hospitals also dealt with several overdoses.

“We are collecting reports and other information to examine our responses to the weekend, and also so that we can highlight to our police board our experiences with the effects of high-profile public events this summer,” Ducker said.

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com