Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti ‘unacceptable’ says Victoria mayor, police

“Support your city” reads a piece of graffiti outside the Ministry of Finance office. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)“Support your city” reads a piece of graffiti outside the Ministry of Finance office. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
“Support beacon hill” could still be read on the side of Victoria’s bylaw office Wednesday morning despite efforts to remove it. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)“Support beacon hill” could still be read on the side of Victoria’s bylaw office Wednesday morning despite efforts to remove it. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Various Victoria locations were hit with a slew of anti-bylaw graffiti Wednesday. This image has been altered to cover up profane language. (Submitted photo)Various Victoria locations were hit with a slew of anti-bylaw graffiti Wednesday. This image has been altered to cover up profane language. (Submitted photo)
Various Victoria locations were hit with a slew of anti-bylaw graffiti Wednesday. This image has been altered to cover up profane language. (Submitted photo)Various Victoria locations were hit with a slew of anti-bylaw graffiti Wednesday. This image has been altered to cover up profane language. (Submitted photo)

Victoria’s mayor and police chief both expressed extreme disappointment Wednesday afternoon after the city awoke to a slew of anti-bylaw graffiti.

Although police are still determining the exact timeline and number of locations hit, Victoria Police Chief Del Manak said they believe the vandalism occurred between midnight and 5 a.m. Wednesday morning. Among the targeted spots were Victoria businesses, the bylaw office and the provincial Ministry of Finance building.

The majority of the graffiti was anti-bylaw and pro-Beacon Hill Park. The worst of it was found along Douglas Street where two locations were vandalized with profane language directed at the city’s bylaw department. At the Victoria bylaw office, messages read “Support Beacon Hill” and “Stop Lying.”

RELATED: Man arrested after sledgehammer smashed into Victoria city truck

Further along Douglas Street, at the provincial Ministry of Finance, “Support Your City” was scrawled out front.

“This is a really expensive and irresponsible way to get attention,” Mayor Helps said, pointing out that if people have an issue there are multiple other avenues for them to express it in, such as on social media or during a council meeting.

“To vandalize the city to make a point doesn’t do anybody any good,” Manak concurred. He added that several of the locations vandalized are businesses, which will now have to bear the cost of clean up on top of the burden of COVID-19.

Both Helps and Manak said they completely back the work that bylaw is doing.

RELATED: Bylaw work risks convince Victoria council to approve extra police funding

“They’re doing their best in incredibly difficult circumstances,” Helps said. “They need to enforce bylaws because that’s their job.” Manak added that bylaw officers always request voluntary compliance before taking any enforcement measures.

“Parks are not homes and when we have 200 people living in parks its going to cause problems,” Helps said. Still, she insisted, Victoria’s parks are safe. Dangerous incidents have targeted bylaw officers specifically she said.

“I would really ask everyone to remain calm,” Helps said, pointing out that council approved funding for police to accompany bylaw officers last week and that the city is on track to have Victoria’s unhoused population sheltered by March 31.

Victoria police are asking for all victims, witnesses and anyone with surveillance video of Wednesday’s vandalism to come forward with information. VicPD’s report desk can be reached at 250-995-7654, extension 1. Anonymous reports can be made to Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

RELATED: Victoria lays out ambitious plan to end sheltering in parks by March 2021


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Victoria

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

Just Posted

B.C. Centre for Disease Control maps showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 4-10. (BCCDC image)
Parksville-Qualicum passes Nanaimo in new COVID-19 cases

Greater Victoria had more new cases than any other Island area: B.C. Centre for Disease Control

Restaurant operators like Canteen on the Green’s Julie Stevens are serving up food outside these days or offering takeout. (Photo by Don Bodger)
High job numbers seem overly rosy

Hard to believe there’s so much more employment in hardest hit sectors

Addition of greenery, tables and benches looks good along Chemainus Road. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Finishing touches down to the nitty gritty on Chemainus Road

Just a few minor adjustments yet to be made on extensive project

Chemainus Art Group creates mural mosaic to celebrate a joyful spring. (Photo submitted)
Art group members celebrate a joyful spring in Chemainus

Each of 33 squares pushed together into one mural

Savanah Sanchez with a likeness of herself in a Canucks’ uniform done by her mom Jessica. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Girl’s passion for hockey knows no bounds

No games, but extensive ice time for training beneficial to Sanchez

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

An armed officer walks outside Cerwydden Care on Cowichan Lake Road near Skinner Road Wednesday, April 14 around 5:30 p.m. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Officers surround building as homeowner held in apartment for nearly four hours by adult son

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Most Read