The Forks bolsters security after violent incidents
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The Forks is ratcheting up security measures in the wake of recent acts of violence that put multiple victims in hospital.
Officials decided Wednesday night to increase the size of its internal security team and request additional resources from the Winnipeg Police Service and the non-profit Downtown Community Safety Partnership, said Clare MacKay, vice-president of strategic initiatives at the downtown site.
“We constantly monitor and adjust our security protocols and procedures, so while we’re not immune to crime, we do have the ability and responsibility to react quickly, to add additional resources to our already really robust, 24/7 security presence on site,” MacKay said.
Two men were stabbed and a woman was assaulted outside The Forks Market early Wednesday.
Officers found three victims, all in their 20s, around 12:30 a.m. Two men who had been stabbed were rushed to hospital in critical condition, but both were later upgraded to stable condition. The third victim, a woman, hadn’t been stabbed but was treated for minor injuries, police said.
Officers, including the tactical team, located six suspects — four youths and two adults — but police have not yet announced any charges.
On Monday, a father and daughter were assaulted in broad daylight directly outside the market building. Officers quickly arrested the suspects. All will face robbery-related charges.
In May, Kyle James Craik, 27, became a homicide victim after he was assaulted in the parkade on the grounds.
Such attacks are “extremely rare,” MacKay said.
The move to boost security comes ahead of Canada Day,when thousands are expected to gather on the 54-acre site for a July 1 event called It’s a New Day at The Forks.
“We add and morph and change our security protocols throughout the year,” MacKay said.
“Obviously, a Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. when it’s -29 C is not the same as a July 1 when it’s 25 C and there are thousands of people coming. So when there are large-scale events, we do add to our security complement and work with the Winnipeg Police Service to supplement that.”
MacKay would not reveal specific details, but said the increase will remain in place as required.
Erik Pindera reports for the city desk, with a particular focus on crime and justice.