Victoria police issue fine for COVID-19 rule-breaking after busting party with dozens of attendees
VANCOUVER -- Less than 24 hours after the B.C. government introduced fines for people found to be violating public health orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, police in the province's capital have already issued their first ticket.
Victoria police say they served a party host a $2,300 fine for violating the COVID-19 Related Measures Act (CRMA) Friday night.
In a news release, the Victoria Police Department says its officers were called to a residence in a multi-unit building in the 1000 block of Fort Street because of "a noisy party where a large number of people were gathered."
Officers first went to the suite where the party happened around 7 p.m., because they had been told the resident was planning a large party, police say. They say they warned the resident about COVID-19 safety protocols regarding large gatherings.
Police say they were called back to the scene around 10:30 p.m. At that time, they say they found approximately 15 people inside the one-bedroom unit. Officers asked the host to end the party, and the host promised to comply, police say.
That didn't happen, according to police. Instead, officers remained in the area and saw groups of people coming and going from the building. When they returned to the unit where the party was happening, there were 30 people inside, not practicing physical distancing, police say.
Police say they believe between 40 and 60 people – many of them young people – attended the party, in total. The resident failed to document the attendees or keep their contact information to assist with contact tracing if someone tests positive for COVID-19, according to police.
Officers issued a $2,300 ticket to the resident of the unit for contravening the provincial health officer's gatherings and events order. Police say the ticket included a $300 victim surcharge, in addition to the $2,000 fine allowed under the CRMA.
No additional tickets were issued, police say.