COVID-19 in B.C.: Police bust parties, a rave, and limousine driver in Burnaby, Surrey, and Vancouver

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      Although British Columbians are restricted to socializing only with household members under current provincial health orders, there have been numerous social events being held in defiance of health regulations across Metro Vancouver, resulting in fines.

      Here are several examples of private parties and events being held in Burnaby, Surrey, and Vancouver that police responded to complaints about.

      Burnaby

      Burnaby RCMP provided a monthly update about its COVID-19 enforcement actions during November.

      On November 1, officers responded to a report about a rave, where they found 40 people without any masks in attendance, who were drinking alcohol in a small space that didn’t allow for physical distancing. Officers issued a fine to the event organizer.

      Then on November 15, officers issued a ticket after finding 30 people at a residence (designed to house four people) without masks or physical distancing.

      On the same day, officers found 58 people at an apartment party where they issued a ticket to one of the residents.

      At 2 a.m. on November 21, officers responded to a complaint about noise coming from a small apartment. Arriving officers were met with aggressive behaviour from the apartment occupants. Officers issued a fine to the apartment resident.

      Then at 2:30 a.m. on the next day (November 22), officers issued a ticket to a resident hosting a house party. This was the second time this resident was fined for the same offence (the previous ticket was issued in September).

      During November, Burnaby RCMP received a total of 46 complaints and issued five tickets. (This doesn’t include business, restaurant, and lounge compliance checks.)

      Surrey

      Surrey RCMP were reported to have issued two tickets of $2,300 each to hosts of private social gatherings at homes held on November 28—one in Whalley and the other Guildford. One party had up to 15 guests. The number of guests at the other gathering was not specified. 

      Vancouver

      Previously, Vancouver police had busted a party in Yaletown on November 21, where guests ignored and refused to comply with police, resulting in a $2,300 fine for the condo resident. 

      Last weekend, police issued tickets at several incidents in Vancouver, according to CTV News.

      Around 1 a.m. on November 28, police responded to a report about a party with loud music at an apartment on Howe Street near Davie Street in Vancouver’s West End.

      Officers arrived to find 16 people at the location, ranging in age from 13 to 34.

      Three underage girls, who didn’t live at the address, were taken to their parents while the party was shut down and the host received an unspecified fine. 

      On the evening of November 28, officers spotted a broken-down limousine in Stanley Park, which had six passengers—only two were roommates, and therefore the others were from other households.

      In addition, the driver didn’t have the correct license and current health orders restrict the use of perimeter-seating vehicles (including limousines and party buses). Consequently, the driver received a $2,300 fine.

      Later that night, police responded to two different parties at different downtown condo buildings.

      One party had up to 10 guests at a birthday party, who were apologetic. The host received a $230 fine.

      However at the other party, 15 intoxicated partiers responded with hostility to officers. Consequently, police issued a $2,300 fine to the owner.

      Meanwhile on November 28, B.C. Ambulance made a rare request assistance from Vancouver police due to multiple overdoses at a party in the West End.

      At a party on Jervis Street near Davie Street, seven individuals had overdosed on cocaine and MDMA, and were taken to hospital, while several individuals outside the apartment were also in need of medical attention.

      Police and health authorities have been warning British Columbians that disruptions to illegal drug supply networks caused by pandemic restrictions has resulted in increasingly toxic street drugs being made locally.

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