Vancouver police say they are disappointed after social media posts showed downtown streets crowded with party-goers on Halloween night, apparently flouting COVID-19 safety protocols.
Spokesman Const. Jason Doucette says it wasn’t possible to try to disperse the alcohol-fuelled crowd or issue tickets due to a number of factors.
He says the number of people downtown grew larger than expected and additional resources were brought in from around the city.
Group of us were just swarmed by an angry crowd on the Granville Mall after a street party erupted.
Had to call for code 3 cover.
— Cst Lee Marten (@Canuckula) November 1, 2020
One police member with the Vancouver Police Department tweeted that they were “swarmed by an angry crowd,” along the Granville strip.
Doucette says police made a number of arrests for minor offences, such as causing a disturbance, but there were no reported injuries.
Videos surfaced on social media that highlighted the scene, with people gathered closely and hanging out in the street without masks or physical distancing.
Granville street tonight, something tells me coronavirus cases will hit around 400 per day next week. pic.twitter.com/dapEc70dIJ
— Jaxson 🇨🇦 (@brendanpgraber) November 1, 2020
As a result of the crowd disregarding safety rules on Halloween night, one bar operator took to Twitter and suggested he was “disheartened” by the partiers.
As a business operator on Granville St, one of the many who are trying to survive financially and provide a safe and regulated environment for people to enjoy dinner and drinks, the actions of the crowds last night were extremely disappointing.
— Don Falconer (@TheFalconer) November 1, 2020
“As a business operator on Granville St (sic), one of the many who are trying to survive financially and provide a safe and regulated environment for people to enjoy dinner and drinks, the actions of the crowds last night were extremely disappointing,” Don Falconer, operator of the Belmont Hotel’s bar on Granville St. wrote Sunday.
“I of course want people to still come to the ‘entertainment district’ and be able to have a good time. But what I saw last night was disheartening, to say the least.”
On Thursday, B.C.’s chief medical officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, said the province was in a “danger zone” with more than 2,300 active cases of COVID-19 being reported.
On Vancouver Island, Saanich Police said that this Halloween also brought far more complaints about fireworks than in previous years.
With files to Canadian Press