Vancouver police are increasing patrols on Commercial Drive after complaints about a group of young people harassing patrons and staff at a local pub.
Vancouver police were called to Toby’s Pub and Grill on Commercial Drive twice in two days, said Sgt. Jason Robillard, media relations officer. The first call was just after 9 p.m. on Thursday and the second came in just before midnight on Friday.
“The requests were both related to a group of youths loitering and interfering with the patrons and staff at the pub,” Robillard said in an email to the Courier. “On both occasions patrol officers were unable to locate the youths, who had fled prior to the officer’s arrival.”
In a Facebook post published on Saturday, pub management said that in the previous few days a group of 20 to 30 young people aged 12 to 17 were “harassing, threatening, physically assaulting” people “as well as supposedly conspiring and possibly committing harsher crimes.”
“These teenagers are splitting up into smaller groups of 4-6 and hanging out in all surrounding alleys and side streets,” the post reads. “They have made threats, they have been physical, and they are suspected to be possibly armed to some extent.”
The manager, who declined to comment when contacted by the Courtier but confirmed the validity of the post, wrote that she had personally seen teens with a metal rod and a wooden bat, and had heard rumours that others possibly had pepper spray and knives.
Robillard said officers are still working to determine if any criminal offences have been committed.
“You can expect an increase of patrol officers around the pub and the surrounding area during the busy evening hours,” he said. “The safety of the public remains a priority for the Vancouver Police Department, who are also reminding anyone who feels unsafe or who has been the victim of a crime to call 911 immediately.”