Anyone heading to Vancouver's parks or beaches to enjoy the sun this holiday weekend should expect to see more police officers patrolling the area than usual.
With restrictions on recreational travel in place until after the Victoria Day long weekend, the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) said it is expecting more Lower Mainland residents to visit these local spaces. With that in mind, officers will be out in full force to ensure the crowds are following the rules.
According to police, officers from the VPD’s Mounted Unit will be manning Stanley Park, while increased numbers of cops on bikes will be stationed throughout the city. Officers from the department's Marine Unit will also patrol the waters along Vancouver's coast.
Police are reminding locals that it remains illegal to consume liquor or have open liquor in Vancouver's parks and on its beaches. Those who do could face a fine of $230. It's also illegal to smoke in these areas. People who choose to light up run the risk of paying a $250 fine.
"We will not be tolerating intoxication in public," said VPD Const. Tania Visintin in a video posted to Twitter. "We will not tolerate any abusive or belligerent behaviour."
In addition to these increased daytime patrols around Vancouver's outdoor spaces, additional officers will be patrolling the Granville Entertainment District, as well as the streets in Yaletown and Gastown during weekend evenings.
Police will also be ready and available to respond to the kind of large indoor gatherings that remain banned in B.C.
"The public health order is still in effect," added Visintin. "Large gatherings of any kind are not acceptable. Police will be onsite on the beaches, and in the parks to disrupt any of these large gatherings. We will also respond to calls of large house parties."
As per the order, those who host a gathering with people from another household can be fined $2,300, while those in attendance can be issued a $575 fine.
"All in all, we want everyone to have a really happy and safe long weekend," Visintin concluded.