Police in Vancouver are ramping up patrols in parks, beaches, and other public areas over the May long weekend.
The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) says that while outdoor activities are encouraged by health officials during the COVID-19 pandemic, they want to remind the public of safety rules and ongoing initiatives.
The message comes just one week after “thousands” of people flocked to Vancouver beaches, forcing police to break up and patrol crowds at English Bay last Friday and Saturday night.
“We have seen a pattern over the past few weekends of large gatherings at parks and beaches,” said Cst. Tania Visintin, VPD Spokesperson during a press conference.
Visintin says they’re advising the public of increased activity by the VPD’s beach patrol, the Mounted Unit in Stanley Park, Bike Units throughout Vancouver, and Marine Unit on the water.
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On Friday and Saturday night, additional police officers will also be deployed to patrol the Granville Entertainment District, Yaletown, and Gastown. Visintin didn’t specify just how many additional officers would be present.
Police will also be responding to large, indoor gatherings, which are currently prohibited under provincial health orders.
Hosting a gathering that involves people outside your household can result in a $2,300 fine and a $575 fine for anyone who attends. VPD adds that a $230 fine can also be issued for consuming liquor in a public place, as well as a $250 fine for smoking on Vancouver parks and beaches.