Saanich police were called to break up a large gathering of young people near Northridge Elementary School on the evening of Aug. 14. (Black Press Media file photo)

Police break up large gathering of about 100 youth in Saanich neighbourhood

Some party goers became verbally aggressive, reports of weapons, police say

The ongoing pandemic did little to prevent a group of about 100 young people from gathering in a Saanich neighbourhood on Aug. 14.

According to the Saanich Police Department, shortly before 11 p.m. Friday officers responded to reports of a loud group of 20 to 30 people in the 4100-block of Carey Road – behind Northridge Elementary School.

Ten minutes later, police received additional reports that the group had grown to about 100 people and was making its way to the street. Callers told police that members of the group had become verbally aggressive and were damaging property. Extra officers sent to provide backup arrived around 11:10 p.m.

“They began to speak to some of them and then learned that there had been weapons involved, including a baton and potentially a knife that had been brandished by one of the youths,” said Const. Markus Anastasiades, public information officer for Saanich police, in a written statement.

Officers were told the suspect with weapons was on the school property. While searching the grounds, officers spoke with residents who “provided additional information about the suspected weapon” and shared their concerns about the gathering, Anastasiades said.

The youth eventually dispersed but police remained on Carey Road to speak with neighbours. Anastasiades said the Saanich Police Department is still investigating the incident, the timeline and information provided by callers. Residents who witnessed the event are asked to contact police to make a statement.

Anastasiades emphasized that additional officers are working on weekends over the summer to respond to increased service calls and incidents involving large gatherings, excess noise, liquor consumption and beach fires.

“Our department is committed to providing quality police service by working with the community to keep Saanich safe,” he said.

READ ALSO: Saanich, Oak Bay announce new five-year policing agreement to share resources, control costs


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