Nova Scotia

Woman swarmed on Halifax waterfront

A woman was swarmed by a group of young people downtown Halifax Thursday night.

A group of women attacked another woman in downtown Halifax Thursday night.

The 22-year-old left work at a business on the waterfront around 10:30 p.m. and was walking past the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic when she was confronted by four women, according to police.

"She was approached by four females. They asked her for a cigarette and ended up being pushed to the ground — they had her mouth covered and they ended up stealing her wallet," said Cst. Brian Palmeter.

The victim lost a small amount of cash. She said her attackers wore jeans and hoodies. They were last seen heading toward the ferry terminal, police said.

The woman was not injured.

The incident happened just a block away from where a 14-year-old boy was stabbed last Friday.

Police say the incidents aren't related.

They have spoken to one witness but they don't have many clues.

'It's pretty scary'

People who walk in downtown Halifax are concerned about the growing violence in the area.

"I think it's pretty scary because there's quite a few young women that I imagine work downtown that would be going home at that time and probably would never think that's an issue," said Laura White.

"It's not safe. Downtown Halifax is not safe," said Debbie Bucci.

"Not totally safe no, I'm definitely looking over my shoulder to see what's behind me and who's around me," said Tamara Gallagher.

Four beat teams of one or two police officers patrol the entire downtown area on foot along with several officers in vehicles every night.

One person who works downtown in the evenings said it's hard to know what to do to make things safer.

"I'm not really sure offhand. I would say more presence of people but it's hard to say — there's not much business around here this time of night. The bars are a couple of blocks up," said Matthew Morrison.

Lower Water Street sees plenty of foot traffic during the day. But at nighttime, it can be very quiet, especially on weeknights.

The police don't break down crimes based on whether the victims are men or women and they say everyone, regardless of their gender, to be careful when walking at night.

Travel in groups, travel in well-lit areas, and if people are alone, they should consider taking a bus or a taxi.