Local businesses on Lower Johsnon Street are looking to up the area’s security. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Victoria security company sees jump in clients in lower downtown after influx of thefts

Themis Security has signed several new contracts for businesses in lower Yates, Johnson streets area

A Victoria-based security firm says it’s expanding its services to include patrolling more shops in the lower Johnson Street and Yates Street areas.

The announcement comes after several businesses in the Lower Johnson (also known colloquially as “LoJo”) neighbourhood announced last week that they would consider banding together to hire a security company to combat an increase in thefts and mental health altercations seen in the downtown core.

On Jan. 17 merchants met with the Downtown Victoria Business Association (DVBA) and Themis Security to discuss ideas, with a group decision expected to take several weeks to be made. A majority of 60 per cent of businesses on the strip must be in favour of the decision before a group contract can be signed.

In the meantime, Themis said individual businesses in the area have already signed up.

READ MORE: Downtown Victoria businesses band together to hire private security company following rise in thefts

“We’re still working with DVBA and various associations on making more consistent coverage, but we’ve had some individual businesses come on board, especially in the last two or three weeks,” said Mirko Filipovic, president of Themis Security Services Ltd. “A good chunk of businesses on the 500-block of Johnson, all the way up to Broad Street, are on board.”

Several businesses on Yates Street have also opted for extra security recently, including Bernstein and Gold, Amelia Lee, Hughes and Patagonia.

Filopovic added that on Friday his company will also be meeting with a group of Broad Street merchants to see if additional contracts can be signed.

The DVBA said that despite Themis’ announcement, no decisions have been made.

“[We] only act as facilitator, the impetus for looking at hiring security came directly from the businesses,” said Jeff Bray, executive director of the DVBA. “To be clear, there is no contract for all the LoJo businesses and any security company, including Themis.”

ALSO READ: Victoria residents face long holds for non-emergency police calls

For now, Themis will cover the sporadic businesses along the strip which have already signed on. Filipovic said that if staff see an incident at a neighbouring business which does not have a contract, help is limited.

“If someone would do something that could result in an injury, I hope someone – in uniform or not– would step in and do the right thing,” he said. “But if it’s more of a nuisance thing we woudn’t have any legal authority to step onto the property.”

More decisions are expected to be made in regards to group contracts in upcoming weeks.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook, send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

local businesstheft

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sidney part of a region that suffers ‘chronic shortage’ of daycare spaces

Consultants find that Sidney needs 233 new spaces to meet the current demand for daycare

HMCS Victoria popping up as training sessions underway

MARPAC says plume of smoke normal for recharging submarine

Friday night tickets affect Saturday behaviour at the University of Victoria

Saanich police see direct response after issuing several $230 fines

Thieves harvest from 11 unlocked cars in Oak bay

Looting unlocked cars called ‘farming,’ says deputy chief

West Shore RCMP seeks video footage after homeowner interrupts Colwood break and enter

Police were called to 600-block of Stornoway Drive late Sunday

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

COVID-19 liquor, music rules extended with fines

‘Nightclubs must cease operating as nightclubs’

Carole James heads ‘caretaker’ B.C. government

James is among 15 MLAs retiring at the end of their current term

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

Most Read