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'Multiple serious incidents': Vancouver Police respond to over 1,800 calls in 3 days

It was the third busiest weekend of 2023 so far.
VPD parked next to the water on a sunny day.

Over Friday (May 12), Saturday, and Sunday Vancouver police say officers responded to more than 1,800 incidents, an increase over the usual number powered by "huge crowds" gathering in parks and beaches around the city to enjoy the warm weather.

The call volume is reportedly up 36 per cent from the same time last year and includes 28 calls just to beaches, a 250 per cent increase from last year (when temperatures were 10 degrees cooler with heavy rain).

In 2022, VPD received 218,447 calls total which average out to just under 600 per day or around 1,800 every three days.

“Summer temperatures always bring more people to the city from surrounding communities, and after a rainy start to the year, we’re glad to see people getting out to enjoy the sun in Vancouver,” says Sgt. Steve Addison in a press release. “While the vast majority of people stayed safe and acted responsibly, whenever we see this many people gathering outside, there’s bound to be more incidents requiring police.”

One such incident involved a man who was bear sprayed while partying with a group of friends at English Bay Beach on Friday night.

The suspect was able to disappear into the crowd afterward. He remains at large.

In addition to the bear spray incident, a 16-year-old boy was stabbed multiple times at Davie and Denman streets, a man was threatened with a knife and assaulted at Hillcrest Community Centre, and patrons waiting outside the Roxy nightclub reported a man flashing a gun at them, all in the same evening.

The man who allegedly flashed the gun was arrested by the VPD’s Gang Crime Unit near Granville and Robson streets shortly after the incident and is a 19-year-old from Surrey. Police recovered a loaded handgun.

The teen who was stabbed suffered superficial wounds and was treated but the suspect has not been identified. The VPD say the victim told officers he was been stabbed by another teen.

More than 20 VPD officers responded to Hillcrest Community Centre and a 32-year-old Vancouver man has been charged with assault with a weapon, uttering threats, and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

On Sunday, a man in the Downtown Eastside was pick-pocketed while unconscious and overdosing near Main and Hastings. A 34-year-old suspect has been arrested in connection with the incident.

VPD say there were four stabbings and four suspicious fires over the weekend and they seized six firearms. It is the third busiest weekend for the VPD so far this year, behind only spring break and St. Patrick's Day.

Police are anticipating further incidents as the hot weather continues into the long weekend and will be adding extra patrol officers at beaches, parks, and entertainment areas.