West Vancouver police say reckless behaviour in the face of the pandemic has got to stop after officers busted up a party of between 200 and 300 teens and young adults in the British Properties Aug. 29.
Police were called to a home in the exclusive residential neighbourhood after receiving noise complaints from neighbours about 10 p.m. last Saturday night and arrived to find a large-scale party underway, said Sgt. Greg Trenholm of the West Vancouver police.
Two hundred to 300 people between the ages of about 17 and 19 were at the party, which had a professional DJ. Promoters had been advertising the party on social media and were charging admission to get in, added Trenholm.
The party clearly violated the provincial health officer’s orders not to hold gatherings of more than 50 people, said Trenholm, adding nobody at the party appeared to be practising social distancing or taking any other precautions.
Youthful partygoers appeared to have come from all over the Lower Mainland to attend the event, he said. Many scattered when police arrived.
One of the promoters of the party was fined $230.
Trenholm said the event is still under investigation and it is unclear who was actually hosting the party or whether the property owners were involved. Fines of up to $2,000 are possible for those who host large gatherings.
Trenholm said it’s time people smartened up. Health officials are telling people not to gather for a reason, he added.
Trenholm said West Vancouver police have received several complaints in recent weeks about large parties that people believe are violating COVID-19 rules. For the most part, however, the complaints have been unfounded, he added.
West Vancouver police will be patrolling this weekend, he said, to make sure people behave and obey all rules.
The highest number of recent COVID-19 cases has been among people 20-29, according to Dr. Bonnie Henry, the province’s medical health officer, who released new statistics on the pandemic Thursday afternoon.
People 20 to 39 now make up the largest number of cases, and positive tests have spiked in that age group since the beginning of July.
Younger people are also transmitting the virus more at private parties, bars and restaurants. Most children and older people have been transmitting the virus through household contacts, workplaces or in a health care or long-term care setting.