Police gearing up for Halloween hijinks with park closures and increased presence
Halloween hijinks can fast morph from hilarity to horror, and Castlegar cops are calling on residents to ensure this year is spooky but safe - including that Kootenay-specific evening called Gate Night (the night before Halloween).
To that end, RCMP Cpl. Deb Postnikoff offered these cautions/recommendations:
"The Castlegar RCMP will have an enhanced presence to deal with any Halloween-generated issues.
"Officers will be dedicated to deal with issues at Kinnaird Park, Millennium Park, the Castlegar Complex and any other potential problem areas that arise. We will be working in partnership with City Works, Castlegar Fire Department, Selkirk Security, as well as Citizens on Patrol (COP) who will supplying volunteers to enhance patrol capability. Police road blocks will be visible throughout the city.
"The (city director of civic works) has ordered a closure of Kinnaird Park and Millennium Park for the evenings of Oct. 30 and 31. The parks will closed at 2:30 p.m. on the 30 and will re-open on Nov. 1 at 9 a.m. Anyone found inside the park deliberately defying the closure order will be removed and charged under the Parks Bylaw. A $50 penalty applies.
"Parents are encouraged to reiterate to their children to act appropriately and ensure them that what may appear to be a fun prank, could have negative results. (ie: throwing apples at houses/vehicles creates damage to property and injury to innocent people). Homeowners have the right to enjoy their property and not be fearful that it will be damaged by fire or mischief-related offences. Further, it should be reiterated that, should they choose to become involved in inappropriate activity, they will be held accountable for their actions.
"It is important to become familiarized with the regulations relating to fireworks and the contravention if found in violation. (Regulations attached)
"Our goal is to provide a safe and memorable Halloween for all members of the community."
General Info: FIREWORKS
1. Except between Oct. 24th and Nov. 1in any given year, a person must not sell, give, or set off fireworks;
2. You must be 19 years or over to possess or set off fireworks, unless under direct supervision of an adult;
3. Use of fireworks is limited to private property;
4. “Firecrackers” require a permit which is generally only granted to the Chinese community for specific cultural events;
5. Modifications to any fireworks which can cause serious injury or damage becomes an improvised explosive device, and are subject to penalties of the Criminal Code and the Explosives Act;
6. Illegal sale, possession, storage, or use of fireworks can result in charges under the Criminal Code of Canada, the Federal Explosive Act, or the Provincial Fireworks Act. Example: simply having in your possession any fireworks while you are under the age of 19 years old could result in a fine of $2000 and/or imprisonment for 6 months;
7. All fireworks will be seized from individuals found in violation of these Acts.