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Eight arrested as Victoria police enforce order to clear tent encampments

A statement from Victoria police says the eight were taken into custody Sunday as officers enforced an evacuation order issued last week for Topaz Park and the Pandora Avenue corridor. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

VANCOUVER – Eight people have been arrested as officials work to clear tent camps at two locations in Victoria.

A statement from Victoria police says the eight were taken into custody Sunday as officers enforced an evacuation order issued last week for Topaz Park and the Pandora Avenue corridor.

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B.C. government begins clearing homeless camps in Vancouver and Victoria – Apr 27, 2020

All those arrested were taken to police headquarters and their property was removed, but police say it will be held in safekeeping and returned “under direction of Victoria Bylaw.”

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Closure of the camps is part of the province-wide response to the COVID-19 pandemic as health officials work to slow the spread of the coronavirus by providing accommodations will better hygiene.

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The statement says police and bylaw officers, BC Housing staff, and social services agency staff provided “every possible
opportunity” for campers to depart without enforcement action.

More than 300 people have been housed in Victoria-area hotels and motels as well as in modular accommodations at a local arena since efforts to clear the camps began last month.

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