New Year's celebrations keep Victoria cops on the run

Victoria police were swamped with more calls for service this New Year’s over last year.

The department’s 911 communications team handled 140 calls for service in 12 hours on New Year’s Eve and into New Year’s Day, compared to 114 calls that came in over New Year’s in 2011.

Typically, the department fields 150 calls in a 24-hour period, said Const. Mike Russell, VicPD spokesperson.

During last weekend's celebrations, police made 21 arrests, down from 25 arrests in the same timeframe in 2011, Russell said, adding that most incidents were alcohol-related.

"Most of it was downtown, but the house parties are always resource-intensive," he said. "You get four officers show up to a house party with 150 people, you've got to call a couple of other cops to come by."

Timing had everything to do with the large call load.

“The combination of New Year’s Eve falling on a Saturday, along with all the extra officers who were out patrolling the streets proactively led to this high call volume,” Russell said. “New Year’s Eve is typically one of the busiest days of the year, behind Canada Day and Halloween.”

New Year's violence in the 2700-block of Cook St. landed one teen in jail and another man in hospital with serious injuries to his torso.

Victoria police are recommending a 17-year-old View Royal male face three counts of aggravated assault in connection with the altercation that happened around 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 1. He was scheduled to appear in Victoria youth court on Tuesday.

“Officers quickly arrived to find the suspect being held down by witnesses, some of who had also sustained injuries while capturing this man,” Russell said.

The first call of the new year led to the arrest of a 35-year-old Esquimalt man for impaired driving. Police pulled over his 2007 Dodge Caravan at Esquimalt Road and Lampson Street at 12:04 a.m.

Police say his blood-alcohol level was double the legal limit.

The public is also being credited for helping officers take a second impaired driver off the street later that night.



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