Vancouver police say it has seized a number of weapons from a tent along East Hastings Street Thursday night.
According to Vancouver Police Department, officers received a tip that illicit drugs and weapons were being stored inside a tent near Main Street and Hastings Street.
Police say a sawn-off shotgun, two replica pistols, ammunition, two cans of bear spray, multiple axes, swords, knives, batons and bats were confiscated.
Five people were arrested, and the investigation continues, Vancouver police say.
“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.”
According to police, since July 1, 2022, assault offences have increased 31 per cent and assault with a weapon offences have increased 45 per cent compared to prior to the tent encampment along the street.
However, according to the police department’s GeoDash Crime Statistics, overall crime in the city has largely decreased since August 2019.
In August 2019, there were 396 offences against a person, while in August 2022 there were 348 offences against a person.
In August 2019, there were 1,536 thefts from a vehicle and 1,139 thefts classified as “other.” This August, there 570 thefts from a vehicle and 977 thefts classified as other.