Vancouver Police Department (VPD) patrol officers launched a criminal investigation earlier this week after receiving information illicit drugs.
Police arrested five people, and officers seized a sawed-off shotgun, two replica pistols, ammunition, two cans of bear spray, and various axes, swords, knives, batons and bats.
“We continue to see an increase in weapons and violence within the encampment,” says Constable Tania Visintin. “Not only does this pose safety risks for the community, but now we are also hearing concerns from businesses owners on the Downtown Eastside who have lost staff because they fear coming to work.”
The investigation remains ongoing.
Vancouver police say since July 1, 2022, assault offences have increased 31% and assault with a weapon offences have increased 45% compared to 62 days prior in the encampment.