Police in Nanaimo are confiscating increasing numbers of weapons, manufactured and homemade, from street-entrenched people in Nanaimo. (Photo submitted)

RCMP express concerns about weapons seized on Nanaimo’s streets

Weapons confiscated include a ninja throwing star and a dagger concealed in a cane

Police in Nanaimo are confiscating rising numbers of weapons, some homemade, from members of the city’s street-entrenched population.

Nanaimo RCMP recently photographed a collection of weapons at the detachment, seized over the past few months at homeless camps or from individuals on the streets.

“A lot of the weapons are seized on a daily basis by our bike squad, which does proactive patrols with bylaws [officers] as they’re sweeping through the downtown corridor, finding the trash,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman. “Bylaws comes by with the city truck to collect the trash and our guys stand by to keep the peace.”

O’Brien said police are continually checking people on the street and if they see items that cause them concern for their own safety or public safety, they’ll seize those items.

Weapons seized include brass knuckles fashioned from a piece of scrap aluminum, machetes made from scrap metal, and weapons crafted from bicycle components, old lawn mower blades and golf clubs. Manufactured weapons seized include knives, baseball bats, a ninja throwing star and even a dagger concealed in the handle of a walking cane.

“The dagger is quite interesting. That’s an old-school item and that’s a very deadly thing,” O’Brien said. “Often we see daggers, but they’re shoved inside boots, so unless you search that individual and check very carefully, you won’t find it.”

He said the people from whom the items are confiscated are often not charged because most are turned over with the owner’s consent and allegedly for personal protection.

“These people who are actively living on the street, they feel they have to defend their property and their property may be their tent, their shopping cart and what not,” O’Brien said. “So that is the reality for people who are living in this no-fixed-address environment.”

The increasing frequency of weapons seizures are due to a number of factors that include rising numbers of people experiencing homelessness in Nanaimo and more frequent patrols by police and bylaws.

READ ALSO: City invests in cleanup as 630 shopping carts collected around Nanaimo

READ ALSO: Residents, business owners vent frustrations over Nanaimo crime and drug activity



photos@nanaimobulletin.com
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

HomelessnessRCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Police in Nanaimo are confiscating increasing numbers of weapons, manufactured and homemade, from street-entrenched people in Nanaimo. (Photo submitted)

Just Posted

From theatres to patios, Vancouver Island Symphony plays through the pandemic

A series of pop-up concerts are taking place in various locations from Saltair to Comox

Beloved Chemainus resident dies at 106

Dorothy Adair adored by the many people she met in the community in two short years

Sudden death leaves Shanahan family of five children without a father

GoFundMe campaign set up by wife Tiffany’s friend

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

‘Someone knows something’: a look into Vancouver Island missing persons with interactive map

There are more than three dozen people listed as missing throughout Vancouver Island

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

Man arrested for allegedly pushing unsuspecting seniors, jumping on cars at Parksville mall

Cops arrest man after ‘aggressive incident’ at Wembley Mall in Parksville

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Most Read