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

North Cowichan councillor Kate Marsh. (File photo)
North Cowichan postpones decision on cell tower placement

But cell tower policy may be developed soon

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks at a press conference Monday, April 18. (B.C. Government image)
New COVID-19 cases tick down on the central Island

New cases held to single digits three days in a row

CVRD offices on Ingram Street will remain closed for another 14 weeks after flooding last month. (File photo)
CVRD headquarters closed for another three and a half months

Building significantly damaged during water leak

Victoria police are asking for help locating high-risk missing man Derek Whittaker, last seen in Victoria April 12. (Courtesy of VicPD)
MISSING: Police searching for Derek Whittaker, last seen in Victoria

Whittaker believed to be driving 1994 red Volkswagen Golf

The IIO is investigating after a police dog bit a man during a traffic stop near Ladysmith on April 17, 2021. (Black Press Media stock photo)
IIO investigating after police dog bites man near Ladysmith

RCMP dog bit man during traffic stop on Friday, April 17

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

(Photo by Mojpe/Pixabay)
Canadian kids extracting record amounts from Tooth Fairy

Our neighbours in the U.S. receive slightly less from Tooth Fairy visits

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

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Wickaninnish (Clifford Atleo) plays the drum while singing the Nuu-chah-nulth song on the court steps in Vancouver In a picture from April 2018. Photo credit, Melody Charlie.
Five western Vancouver Island First Nations celebrate legal fishing victory

Court ruling confirms Nuu-chah-nulth fishing rights in case dating back to 2003

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Most Read