Halloween this year saw more fireworks than ever, say police

Halloween this year saw more fireworks than ever, say police
WatchWith many parties and an increase of fireworks, Saanich Police had a busy Halloween. The lack of masks and large groups has residents worried.

Fireworks are the typical light show on Halloween, but this year, they were especially popular.

According to Saanich Police Department Const. Markus Anastasiades, there far more complaints about Halloween fireworks this year than in previous years.

“We were called to numerous noise complaints, this year, a lot of complaints about fireworks going off all over Saanich. Certainly not unusual, but I think we had more fireworks calls than years past.”

In Saanich, residents are required to obtain a permit before setting off fireworks, but it seems not everyone followed the rules.

“Based on the number of calls we received, we can only assume that not everyone setting off fireworks had a permit,” said Anastasiades.

That wasn’t the only illegal activity going on last night, Saanich PD broke up numerous parties over the allowed limit of six added people per household, recently announced by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

Anastasiades said the gatherings were both inside and outside and ranged from 20 people to more than 100. He said most groups dispersed quickly and without incident but one house, with more than 30 people inside, wasn’t too happy officers crashed their party.

“Unfortunately, compliance didn’t take place and we have to issue a violation ticket under the COVID Related Measures Act, to the amount of $2,300, quite a hefty fine,” said Anastasiades.

It was the first ticket of its kind to be issued by the department after the new regulations about the “safe six” were put in on Monday.

RELATED: Saanich PD issue $2,300 fine to house party for violating COVID-19 gathering rules on Halloween

Gordon Head resident Cindy Trueman saw for herself the disregard for provincial health orders.

“I went to a firework display, I myself stayed in the car, and there was a very large gathering of people. Nobody was social distancing whatsoever and no one was wearing masks at all,” said Trueman.

Although Trueman was worried about the large gatherings, she also says trick or treaters weren’t following Dr. Henry’s recommendations.

“We had 40 trick or treaters come to the door, and only four trick or treaters had masks on,” said the Saanich resident. “Because of last night, I can’t go visit my elderly parents now because I have to take precautions. I’m really worried for the future of Victoria now.”

The parties weren’t limited to Vancouver Island though, Granville Street in Vancouver was filled to the brim with partiers, tightly packed and most without masks.

Vancouver PD said they received over 800 calls for service, responded to multiple stabbings and an officer broke his hand on Halloween night.

With cases recently spiking due to Thanksgiving gatherings, B.C. will have to wait and see how this Halloween will impact COVID-19 cases.

READ MORE: Halloween partiers crowd the Granville Strip despite Dr. Bonnie Henry warnings to keep events small

Rebecca LawrenceRebecca Lawrence

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