Sidney-North Saanich RCMP say they are patrolling business corridors including downtown Sidney to ensure safety during COVID-19. (Black Press Media File)

Sidney-North Saanich RCMP say they are patrolling business corridors including downtown Sidney to ensure safety during COVID-19. (Black Press Media File)

RCMP see drop in business break-ins for downtown Sidney

Police are also keeping in touch with local homeless population

A spokesperson for the Sidney-North Saanich RCMP detachment says police are monitoring local business corridors including Sidney’s downtown core as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

While Cpl. Carrie Harding could not give an exact time line, she said officers have not responded to a business break-in in Sidney’s downtown core in “quite some time,” with the main issue having been shoplifting in the past.

“I can’t offhand even recall a break-in to a business in the last six months or so,” she said.

Police officers patrol local business areas within their jurisdiction nightly and are taking the issue seriously.

“I would say to them [downtown business owners] that we are definitely aware of their concerns, and we want them to know that we are doing our best to patrol that area and make sure that there are no problems down there and to protect their businesses as well during this time,” said Harding.

RELATED: Victoria Police see new trends in calls due to COVID-19

Officers also remain in contact with locals on the margins of society, including the local homeless population, by checking in on them and advising them of all the resources that are available to them.

“We definitely are in daily contact with the homeless and vulnerable persons in our community,” she said, adding that the numbers vary greatly from day to day, week to week.

This is because of the area’s location close to the City of Victoria as well as the BC Ferry terminal in Swartz Bay.

“On average, I would say in our communities [of Sidney and North Saanich], we probably have about 10 to 20 pretty regular homeless and vulnerable persons.”

Harding said the homeless population is doing as well as they can be expected under the current circumstances.

RELATED: Saanich Peninsula not immune to homelessness

Harding said the Town of Sidney has ensured that their public washrooms remain open for use. “It’s an important time for everyone to have access to washroom facilities,” she said. “The Tulista Park washrooms are open, the public washroom on Fourth Street is open and the Iroquois Park washroom is open, which also has showers and they will be open from 9 a.m to 1 p.m.”

As for the Sidney-North Saanich RCMP detachment itself, non-essential staff are working from home. “Our frontline police officers are at full strength and are continuing to respond to any calls,” she said.

Harding encouraged residents to follow all of the orders from the provincial health officer. “Stay home as much as you can,” she said. “Wash your hands and stay six feet away from other people…and continue to sanitize your hands as much as possible.”


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