This story has been amended since first posting to clarify the fines issued.
Much like their colleagues across English Bay, West Vancouver Police Department members say they were kept busy dealing with large and sometimes unruly crowds on local beaches over a hot and sunny weekend.
“There was lots going on,” said Const. Kevin Goodmurphy, West Vancouver police spokesman. “We were spread pretty darn thin.”
Most beach goers were respectful, Goodmurphy said, but later in the evenings there were many complaints over public intoxication, disturbances and illegal beach fires.
On Saturday night, officers on foot patrol got into a confrontation with a group of 20-somethings drinking and smoking cannabis in Ambleside Park. Goodmurphy said the group was not practising physical distancing and they became belligerent with officers, including one man who became aggressive, spitting at the officers and stepping into their personal space. As police were arresting him, a second man intervened and was also taken into custody. One officer received a minor injury in the scuffle, although Goodmurphy said they are not anticipating charges.
“They were transported to their homes respectively, and released into the care of a sober adult,” Goodmurphy said. “They got arrested initially for assaulting a police officer, given the belligerent behaviour, and how close they got like in the faces of our officers. … [Investigators] do have the option of recommended charges if they choose to do so.”
Goodmurphy said police will be stepping up patrols of popular beaches and parks as they expect them to be popular destinations during the warmer months, and visitors can expect to see enforcement for anyone stepping over the line.
After dousing 19 illegal beach fires over the weekend, West Vancouver Fire and Rescue will also be starting up weekend beach patrols.
The anti-social social behaviour was not limited to public spaces though.
West Van police issued $2,530 in violation tickets to a British Properties woman Sunday night after receiving reports of a large house party on the 300 block of Southborough Drive. Inside, officers spotted upwards of 15 people, not wearing masks, drinking and dancing, Goodmurphy said.
When officers knocked on the door, the revellers shut off the music and scattered, refusing to answer the door.
Police eventually located an "extremely confrontational and intoxicated 46-year-old woman” who was a resident in the home. After some screaming and yelling at officers, she was fined $2,300 for hosting a non-compliant event as well as $230 for "abusive and belligerent behaviour.”
“This is not the time to be inviting guests into your home,” Goodmurphy said. “We will not be tolerating reckless behaviour that could jeopardize the health and safety of others.”