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City of Victoria grilled over the time it took to reveal discovery of syringe in a parkade

A City of Victoria staffer was grilled Tuesday on why the municipality didn’t act quicker to inform the public about the discovery of a needle and syringe that were taped to a handrail at a city parkade in April.

Victoria resident Sam Hollington posted a photo of the syringe to his Facebook page on Sunday.

He said a security guard at Bastion Square Parkade showed it to him.

The photo, which was shared thousands of times, generated heavy controversy online.

On Monday, the city revealed the needle was found by the parkade’s security guard on April 17 and a police report was filed the following day.

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In response to the discovery, the city said it has stepped up hourly security sweeps of its five parkades.

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READ MORE: City of Victoria raises security after needle and syringe found taped to parkade handrail

The city held a press conference to address growing concerns about the discovery on Tuesday.

Additional sweeps did not find any similar instruments in any of the parkades, said Thomas Soulliere, director of parks, recreation and facilities with the City of Victoria.

Soulliere added that no one has come forward with any injuries related to the discovery so far.

Grilled on why the city did not make the information public at the time of the incident, Soulliere said the public was not alerted right away because additional sweeps turned up nothing suspicious.

However, he admitted that the city is reviewing the actions of its staff.

“In terms of looking at the internal communication protocols that we have in place, that is something where, within the last 24 hours, we have identified some areas where information should have been shared with high levels of the organization,” he said.

Soulliere would not comment on whether anyone is going to be reprimanded; he added that he personally found out about the incident on Monday.

He did not believe there was any surveillance of the area at the time, but the security contractor is going through material that is available.

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Victoria police said they are only aware of this one incident, but they encourage anyone with information to call them at 250-995-7654 or Crime Stoppers at 1 800-222-8477.

They said no arrests have been made and there are no persons of interest.

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