Media Releases

We often see an increase in frauds during the holiday season. Take some simple precautions and don’t let the Grinch ruin your Christmas. Here are some tips for a safe and happy holiday season online:

Secure Wi-Fi is vital for your privacy. At home, check your router security settings. When you’re out never use free Wi-Fi hotspots when what you’re doing is private (like banking).


If something seems like too much of a bargain, it’s probably poor quality or doesn’t even exist. Always check payment pages are secure, and log out when you’ve finished shopping online.

Scam emails, calls, texts and posts are getting cleverer and you’re bound to get some over Christmas. Think twice before you get talked into anything!

Passwords that are easy to guess, that you use for more than one account or that you share with others, are a no-no!

Don’t sign up for ‘free’ or ‘low-cost’ trial goods without thoroughly reading the small print. You could be signing up for massive unexpected direct debits.

Don’t open attachments or click on links in festive (or any other) emails you’re not expecting, as they could be scams. Be careful with ecards as they can be fraudulent too.

Take the time this holiday season to identify people in your life who may be vulnerable to scams. Helpful information on common scams and ways to protect yourself can be found We hope your holiday season is one to remember… For all the right reasons!

In the early morning hours of November 25, 2018 Saanich Police, along with Saanich Fire, attended the Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence (PISE) where it was discovered the building had been broken into and fires intentionally set. Saanich Fire were successful in extinguishing the fires; however, significant damage did occur. The total value of damages is unknown at this time.

The initial investigation by Saanich Police officers located further buildings that had been entered on the adjacent Camosun College Interurban campus, and further damage having occurred within.

While the area was contained by police, a 30 year old man from Victoria, BC, believed to be responsible, was located and has been arrested in relation to this investigation.

Several counts of break and enter, arson, mischief and theft are being recommended, and at this time the individual remains in Saanich Police custody.

Due to the ongoing nature of the investgation further details will not be released at this time.

Cst Matt CAWSEY #183

Soon the streets will be filled again with little ghosts and goblins.  To make sure the little ones are safe here are some reminders to make sure the night runs smoothly.

Around the house:

  • Keep pets indoorson Halloween to protect them from hazards and preventing them from being scared of/aggressive to visitors.
  • Many people delight in transforming their homes into spooky scenes. Be sure to keep the path leading up to your door free of obstaclesfor the little ones, especially those who still decide to wear masks and might have trouble seeing in dim light.
  • Before you light those candles in your pumpkin, consider using inexpensive safety glow sticks or battery operated flameless candles.


It’s important when helping a child pick out a costume that safety should be the main concern.  Here are a few tips:

  • Wear a light-coloured or bright costume, reflective tape or arm bands to heighten visibility.
  • Wear a costume that is properly fitted to reduce the chance of tripping on it.
  • Make sure vision isn’t restricted. Choose a costume with make-up rather than a mask.
  • Shoes should fit properly even if they do not go well with a costume.
  • Glow sticks are also an excellent method to increase a child's visibility. You might want to consider creating a fun necklace with string to ensure they will want to wear as part of their costumes.
  • Accessorize with a flashlight!

Before the kids hit the streets:

  • Parents should know the route that their children plan to follow. If you are unable to take them out yourself, consider asking another parent, an older sibling to do the honours for you.
  • Agree upon a curfew and make sure your child is wearing a watch so they know what time to be home.
  • Teach your children to recognize the places along their planned route where they can get help: Police Station, Fire Station or any other well indicated public place.

Although tampering of loot is rare, remind children they must have their candy inspected by their parents or guardian prior to eating them.

Some More Safety Tips for Trick or Treaters:

  • Bring a flashlight;
  • Walk instead of running;
  • Stay on the sidewalks;
  • Avoid jaywalking;
  • Do not cut across lawns or take short-cuts;
  • Do not go inside houses and do not get into vehicles;
  • Only visit houses that are lit;
  • Stay away from animals you are not familiar with; and

Above all, have a safe and haunting good Halloween!

On October 31 and November 1, 2018, numerous fires were reported in the Municipality of Saanich and the City of Victoria.

On October 31 and November 1, 2018, numerous fires were reported in the Municipality of Saanich and the City of Victoria.During the course of the investigation, the Saanich Police worked in concert with the Victoria Police. Additionally, fire investigators from the Saanich and Victoria Fire Departments provided crucial information that has assisted with the investigation.

On November 2, 2018, a 31 year old female with no fixed address was arrested and charged with one count of arson in relation to inhabited property (City of Victoria) , contrary to section 433 (a); and one count of arson damaging property 434 of the Criminal Code (Municipality of Saanich). She has been remanded in custody and is scheduled to appear in court on November 5, 2018.

There are several other fires that appear to be related. Saanich and Victoria Police, with the support of their respective fire departments, will continue their investigations into these arsons.

“We will continue to diligently investigate these incidents. When an individual sets fires, the results are unpredictable and can cause serious damage or worse yet; injuries or harm to people,” stated D/Sgt. Damian Kowalewich. “The female is known to Police. She has been remanded in custody by a Justice of the Peace, to appear in court.”

If anyone has further information about any suspected arsons, they are encouraged to call their local police.

SPD File 18-27789 refers

Detective Sergeant Damian Kowalewich

On October 18, 2018 officers from the Saanich Police Traffic Safety Unit conducted an enforcement campaign at the intersection of Quadra St/McKenzie Ave. This particular intersection is one of the busiest intersections in the CRD, and is also one of the highest crash zones on Vancouver Island.

In two hours officers issued over 50 tickets for violations under the Motor Vehicle Act. These included high risk driving behaviour for intersection offences (running red lights), speeding, seatbelts offences and people using their electronic devices while driving. 

In addition to the Motor Vehicle Act violations one ticket was issued under the new Cannabis Control and Licensing Act, when an officer observed a passenger in a vehicle smoking a cannabis cigarette.  The passenger was issued a violation ticket for $230 as Section 65 of the Act does not allow occupants of a vehicle to use cannabis.  During the stop officers spoke to the driver and, after a conversation with him, were satisfied his ability to operate a motor vehicle had not been affected by his passengers’ use of cannabis. 

“The Saanich Police Department continues to use standard field sobriety testing when drug impaired driving is suspected” said Sgt. Jereme Leslie. “This is nothing new to the Saanich Police Department and around half the officers in Saanich are trained to do this testing.”

The Saanich Police Department continues to organize traffic safety projects like this, and proactive impaired driving checks, to ensure our roads are safe for all road users. We all play a part in making our roads safe – safe drivers make safe roads.  

Sgt. Jereme Leslie #228

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