Cst. Kevin Goodmurphy
West Vancouver – Officers were kept busy dealing with incidents, some of which stemmed from larger-than-normal crowds at parks and beaches over the weekend, likely due to unseasonably warm weather.
On Friday afternoon, officers noted many people flocking to the Ambleside Beach area, where they were no doubt hoping to take advantage of sunny weather.
While most of the guests were enjoying the park responsibly, as the evening wore on, police began getting complaints of intoxicated people, unlawful beach fires, and general disturbances.
Beach Patrol officers worked with West Vancouver Fire & Rescue to extinguish fires, and to remind people that open fires are not allowed in West Vancouver Parks or Beaches.
Officers also observed many people consuming alcohol in the park, and took the opportunity to remind them that consumption of liquor in public is not currently allowed in West Vancouver.
“We will, on occasion, use discretion in situations where officers decide that education would be more impacting than a $230 fine,” says Cst. Kevin Goodmurphy. “But when it appears to be a flagrant disregard for liquor laws, we may decide to take enforcement action.”
On Saturday night, while on foot patrol at Ambleside Park, officers encountered a group of people in their early 20’s consuming liquor and cannabis, and not physically distancing. Officers spoke with the group and initially gave a warning, reminding them of the laws pertaining to liquor and cannabis in public.
One man from the group became aggressive and began spitting toward officers and stepping into their personal space. When officers attempted to take him into custody for being intoxicated in public, another man from the group tried to intervene. Both men were arrested, after additional units were called. The men were later released into the care of sober adults without charge. Officers sustained minor injuries as a result of the violent incident that was witnessed by many people, including young families.
“Violent and belligerent behaviour cannot and will not be tolerated at our beaches and parks,” says Cst. Kevin Goodmurphy. “We would like to remind the public that these spaces are for people who want to lawfully enjoy our spectacular scenery.” “They should not have to be subjected to disruptive behaviour.”
The public can expect to see more police officers on foot over the next 4 months, as extra Beach Patrol shifts have been added once again this year, in anticipation of large crowds.
On Sunday at 11:00 pm, officers were tipped off by an anonymous person, of a gathering at a household in the 300 blk. of Southborough Dr. When Officers attended, they heard loud music and saw 10-15 people inside the home, not wearing masks, drinking and dancing.
When the occupants noticed police, they turned off the music and scattered inside. They refused to answer the door.
Officers quickly encountered an extremely confrontational and intoxicated 46-year-old woman, who was later identified as a resident. After a lengthy attempt to identify the woman, who was screaming and yelling at officers, she was eventually issued $2630.00 in Covid-related fines for hosting a non-compliant event, as well as abusive and belligerent behaviour.
“This is not the time to be inviting guests into your home,” says Cst. Kevin Goodmurphy. “We will not be tolerating reckless behaviour that could jeopardize the health and safety of others.”
If anyone observes unlawful or disruptive behaviour while enjoying West Vancouver parks, they are asked to contact WVPD at 604-925-7300. Call 9-1-1 in an emergency.