More than 200 tents have been spread out over Topaz Park. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Victoria allocates more than $50,000 to help with policing costs around Topaz Park

Council also allocated another $100,000 to city staff to help the vulnerable population

The City of Victoria has approved more funding for the Victoria Police Department to increase public safety around Topaz Park.

On Thursday, April 23, council allocated $52,500 to VicPD, along with granting city staff up to $100,000 to continue to support vulnerable people.

READ ALSO: Victoria police chief asks city to fund more patrols at camps for homeless

Police Chief Del Manak said earlier this week the encampments at Topaz Park and Pandora Avenue – where hundreds who once frequented shelters in the area pre-pandemic now live – require more patrol officers to keep people both inside and outside the camps safe.

Since March 5, the police department has reported a more than 100 per cent increase in calls for service near Topaz Park, and a 22 per cent increase in calls for service overall.

READ ALSO: Victoria police reports 126 per cent increase in calls near Topaz Park

Manak said there has been a “severe and serious escalation of crime” around Topaz Park, such as property crime, suspicious person, bike thefts, theft from vehicles and “anything that isn’t locked or bolted down has pretty much been stolen.”

Last week, Rabbi Meir Kaplan of the Chabad Jewish Centre, which serves the community near Topaz Park, said security cameras have recorded numerous burglary attempts, property thefts and break-ins since the camp opened.

— With files from Nina Grossman



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

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