Vancouver – Vancouver Police recovered a number of dangerous weapons from a tent inside the Hastings Street encampment last night.

“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.”

VPD patrol officers launched a criminal investigation earlier this week after receiving information illicit drugs and weapons were being stored inside a tent near Main and Hastings. Over the course of the investigation, officers seized a sawed-off shotgun, two replica pistols, ammunition, two cans of bear spray, and various axes, swords, knives, batons and bats.

Five people were arrested. The investigation remains ongoing.

Since July 1, 2022, assault offences have increased 31% and assault with a weapon offences have increased 45% compared to 62 days prior in the encampment.