After ensuring the area was safe, the Victoria Police Department maintained a visual presence at the Victoria International Jewish Film Festival. (Black Press Media file photo)

After ensuring the area was safe, the Victoria Police Department maintained a visual presence at the Victoria International Jewish Film Festival. (Black Press Media file photo)

Police investigating threats against Victoria International Jewish Film Festival

VicPD provides security, visual presence after threats

Police were called to the Victoria International Jewish Film Festival after organizers received multiple anti-Semitic threats.

The Victoria Police Department was called on Nov. 4 after the Jewish Community Centre of Victoria received threats against the film festival and the Jewish community as a whole. The festival was held at the Vic Theatre on Douglas Street between Nov. 1 and 6.

Specially-trained officers searched the area to ensure it was safe. While there were no incidents at the event, police remained on scene to provide security and a “clearly visible presence,” and made a safety plan for the event.

“These threats were specific and deeply concerning. These threats come in the larger context of credible threats against Jewish events and communities across North America that have been in the news this past week,” a spokesperson for VicPD said.

The threats made specific reference to the film festival’s location and included additional concerning details.

“We continue to work with members of Greater Victoria’s Jewish community to ensure that they are safe and know that we are here to help keep them safe,” the spokesperson added.

Police didn’t release details about the nature of the threats, as the investigation is ongoing.

Larry Gontovnick, president of the Jewish Community Centre of Victoria, declined a request from Black Press Media for an interview.

Anyone with information can contact VicPD at 250-995-7654, ext. 1, or report anonymously to Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

ALSO READ: The annual Victoria International Jewish Film Festival will play at Vic Theater Nov. 1-6


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

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