Local businesses on Lower Johsnon Street are looking to up the area’s security. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Victoria security company sees jump in clients in lower downtown after influx of thefts

Themis Security has signed several new contracts for businesses in lower Yates, Johnson streets area

A Victoria-based security firm says it’s expanding its services to include patrolling more shops in the lower Johnson Street and Yates Street areas.

The announcement comes after several businesses in the Lower Johnson (also known colloquially as “LoJo”) neighbourhood announced last week that they would consider banding together to hire a security company to combat an increase in thefts and mental health altercations seen in the downtown core.

On Jan. 17 merchants met with the Downtown Victoria Business Association (DVBA) and Themis Security to discuss ideas, with a group decision expected to take several weeks to be made. A majority of 60 per cent of businesses on the strip must be in favour of the decision before a group contract can be signed.

In the meantime, Themis said individual businesses in the area have already signed up.

READ MORE: Downtown Victoria businesses band together to hire private security company following rise in thefts

“We’re still working with DVBA and various associations on making more consistent coverage, but we’ve had some individual businesses come on board, especially in the last two or three weeks,” said Mirko Filipovic, president of Themis Security Services Ltd. “A good chunk of businesses on the 500-block of Johnson, all the way up to Broad Street, are on board.”

Several businesses on Yates Street have also opted for extra security recently, including Bernstein and Gold, Amelia Lee, Hughes and Patagonia.

Filopovic added that on Friday his company will also be meeting with a group of Broad Street merchants to see if additional contracts can be signed.

The DVBA said that despite Themis’ announcement, no decisions have been made.

“[We] only act as facilitator, the impetus for looking at hiring security came directly from the businesses,” said Jeff Bray, executive director of the DVBA. “To be clear, there is no contract for all the LoJo businesses and any security company, including Themis.”

ALSO READ: Victoria residents face long holds for non-emergency police calls

For now, Themis will cover the sporadic businesses along the strip which have already signed on. Filipovic said that if staff see an incident at a neighbouring business which does not have a contract, help is limited.

“If someone would do something that could result in an injury, I hope someone – in uniform or not– would step in and do the right thing,” he said. “But if it’s more of a nuisance thing we woudn’t have any legal authority to step onto the property.”

More decisions are expected to be made in regards to group contracts in upcoming weeks.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook, send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

local businesstheft

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Metchosin to test tsunami notification on Thursday evening

Approximately 80 to 100 residents in tsunami-zone

Public tips lead to arrest in alleged random assault on Victoria bus

June 19 incident was recorded by onboard camera

Sooke Fine Art Show gears up for July 24 launch

Virtual event to feature more than 375 juried works from local artists

Sooke Crisis Centre closes doors

Services previously offered to be dispersed throughout community support groups

Sidney asking tourists to respect health guidelines

Messaging says Sidney is ‘excited to welcome smart, safe, and respectful visits’

VIDEO: Victoria’s Raging Grannies call for end to public funding of for-profit senior homes

Organizer says COVID-19 has made senior home issues more apparent

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Would you get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it is available?

With the number of positive COVID-19 tests skyrocketing across much of the… Continue reading

Campaign aims to raise $50K for young family of deceased Vancouver Island skydiver

James Smith, 34, died July 5 following incident in Nanoose Bay

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Most Read