Victoria police are issuing a warning about young people gathering in the downtown area and committing violent offences and property crimes.

Police said most of the youths are from outside Victoria and said it has been happening over the last few weeks.

Some of the recent incidents to which police have responded include assaults with weapons, random attacks on passersby, attacks on elderly and unhoused people and the swarming of a police officer.

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There have also been reports of mischief, vandalism and property damage as well as open consumption of alcohol and drugs by underage youth, police said.

Investigating officers have also learned that some parents are providing their children with bear spray and alcohol when their children have expressed that they would like to bring knives and drugs into the downtown area.

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“Several of the youths involved have told officers that they believe that they will not face criminal charges for their actions,” VicPD Spokesperson Const. Cam MacIntyre said.

“Some of these youth are conducting violent, random attacks and have told officers that they believe that they will face no consequences for their unlawful actions. They are wrong.

“Officers are arresting and recommending charges, which can have significant and negative life-long impacts.”

If anyone sees a group assaulting people or damaging property, they are asked to call 911. If anyone has any information about these incidents, they are encouraged to call the VicPD Report Desk at (250) 995-7654 ext 1.

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