Police and residents of Savary Island are preparing for the upcoming August long weekend with a coordinated, enforcement-based approach focusing on liquor-related offences and public safety.
The BC Day weekend has traditionally had a considerable impact on the small island community of Savary with the arrival of seasonal cabin owners and campers. Although the vast majority of visitors to the island are respectful and well behaved there are those who cause problems for both police and property owners.
In the past there have been issues surrounding public intoxication, drinking in public, drunk driving, assaults and a spectrum of other offences ranging from public nuisances to overt threats to public safety. Of particular concern is the conduct of many young people camping on “south beach” that leave behind refuse and human waste, have camp fires contrary to burning restrictions and engage in other disruptive behaviour usually linked to excessive alcohol consumption.
Over the past year Powell River RCMP has consulted various community groups and worked in partnership with Powell River Regional District and Savary Island Volunteer Fire Department. As a result of this exercise police will be implementing a far tougher enforcement approach similar to last year.
Offences related to liquor will be strictly enforced in an effort to manage drunken behaviour, which is an aggravating causal factor in many of the negative issues related to the August long weekend. In addition, police will be patrolling with members of Savary Island Volunteer Fire Department to help enforce any burning restrictions that may be in place and educate the public about the ever present wild fire threat to the island.
Consuming liquor in a public place carries a fine of $230 and liquor being unlawfully kept or consumed is subject to seizure by police.