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

A screenshot taken from the Parksville city council meeting on Monday, April 19, where members of the Friends of the Parksville Community Centre presented the results of an ongoing online petition. Parksville city council is shown top left, David Todtman is shown top right, and Valerie Dare is shown at the bottom. (Via Youtube)
Friends of the Parksville Community Centre members present online petition to city council

Nearly 2,600 signatures collected in bid to keep facility as community gathering place

The scene of a single-vehicle crash along Dolphin Drive in Nanoose Bay on Monday morning, April 19. (Mandy Moraes photo)
RCMP: No injuries reported in rollover crash in Nanoose Bay

Police say passengers indicate driver left the scene

The Town of Qualicum Beach plans to establish temporary shelters. (Town of Qualicum Beach illustration)
Town of Qualicum Beach seeks $1.25M grant to build temporary housing units

Aim is to move tenants in prior to the end of 2021

Mount Arrowsmith Teachers’ Association and its Nanaimo-Ladysmith counterpart seek stricter COVID-19 rules. (PQB News file photo)
Mount Arrowsmith teachers’ union asks health authority for stricter COVID-19 measures

Teachers ask for vaccine, more online learning, mask mandate for primary students

A lone traveler enters the Calgary Airport in Calgary, Alta., Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
VIDEO: Trudeau defends Canada’s travel restrictions as effective but open to doing more

Trudeau said quarantine hotels for international air travellers will continue until at least May 21

Chart from the April 20 B.C. budget shows sharp dip in real estate sales early in the COVID-19 pandemic and the even steeper climb since late 2020. (B.C. government)
Hot B.C. housing market drives property transfer tax gains

B.C. budget boosts tobacco, sweet drinks, carbon taxes

President Joe Biden holds a virtual bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
U.S. to help Canada with more COVID-19 vaccine supply, Biden says

The U.S. has already provided Canada with about 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine

B.C.’s 2021 budget is trending in the right direction to support farmers, says the BC Fruit Growers’ Association. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
BC Fruit Growers’ Association gives thumbs up to provincial budget

BCFGA general manager said budgetary investments put farming industry on a good trajectory for recovery

Some Saanich firefighters have expressed concerns about first responders in the Island Health Region not being prioritized to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as an outbreak at a fire station would make service delivery a challenge. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Some Island firefighters not prioritized for COVID-19 vaccine despite working on frontlines

Saanich members express frustration, department calls on Island Health to take action

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson leaves the assembly with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Paid sick leave for ‘hard-hit’ workers left out of provincial budget: BCGEU

‘For recovery to be equitable it requires supports for workers, not just business,’ says union president Laird Cronk

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin’s trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Court TV via AP, Pool
George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism: Trudeau

Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all three charges against him

Most Read