Police in Surrey issued more than $9,000 in fines related to illegal gatherings on New Year’s Eve.
The Surrey RCMP say that on New Year’s Eve, they received 29 calls for service regarding COVID-19 related matters.
Corporal Elenore Sturko says that of those calls, seven were found with “some level of non-compliance” and four had enough concern to warrant a ticket under the COVID-19 Related Measures Act (CRMA). She adds that all four of the tickets issued were related to “gatherings at residences” and each fine amounted to $2,300, for a total of $9,200.
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The first incident occurred at approximately 9:20 pm at a residence on the 15900 blocks of 91A Avenue. Police who attended noted loud music and multiple people inside the residence.
Sturko tells Daily Hive that police “were able to make observations of pizza being delivered and other hallmarks that indicate a gathering.”
“This is one where they could see people peeking out to see if police had taken off.”
The second incident occurred a short time after on the 13400 blocks of 90 Avenue. Police found nine individuals at the residence as well as chairs on an outside deck and loud music.
Shortly after, another fine was issued to the homeowners of a residence on the 10900 blocks of 129 Street. RCMP reportedly saw “people exiting taxi cabs” and entering the residence.
The fourth COVID-19 related fine was issued after midnight. Sturko says that the gathering appeared to be a “continuation of concerns that someone called in.”
“Someone in the area called in to report that there was a party at the residence,” she explains. “Police weren’t able to make contact with the property reps on the 31st and then the following day, another report came in to indicate that the party was either continuing or had begun.”
Officers were ultimately able to contact the property owners, who were then issued a $2,300 fine.
Sturko adds that COVID-19 related fines, as well as other violations, don’t have to be issued on the day of the offence.
“The reality is that we don’t necessarily have to issue the ticket that day and we don’t have to come into your home,” she explains. “There’s a lot of different violation tickets and bylaws that have the same circumstances where we can gather the information and a ticket can be laid.”
The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) also issued nearly $10,000 in fines on New Year’s Eve. Similarly, four tickets were issued to event organizers, each amounting to $2,300.