Delta police are encouraging Canucks fans to celebrate wins at home instead of taking to the streets.
After the Canucks first-round playoff series win on Friday, Aug. 21, upwards of 1,000 fans gathered in the area of Scott Road and 72nd Avenue, prompting response by the Delta Police Department and Surrey RCMP.
Delta police received numerous calls and social media messages from people who were concerned about the apparent disregard by many of those celebrating for COVID-related safety measures such as physical distancing.
Due to the size of the gathering, police focused their efforts on pedestrian and traffic safety. Surrey RCMP issued a total of seven tickets for seat-belt violations as a result of occupants hanging out of windows or sunroofs; the number of tickets issued by Delta police was not available before the Reporter’s press deadline.
“As the Canucks have progressed this season, we have seen steady growth in the number of fans celebrating in the area of 120th Street and 72nd Avenue,” Insp. Ciaran Feenan, head of the DPD’s patrol section, said in a press release.
“While we understand fans wanting to celebrate, we want to ensure that fans are being safe and are following public health orders in regards to COVID-19: maintaining social distance, wearing a mask and not congregating in groups of more than 50 people. Our advice — please stay home to celebrate, and Go Canucks Go.”
To ensure the safety of those celebrating, as well as drivers and pedestrians, police will be increasing their presence in the area of Scott Road and 72nd Avenue following Canucks playoff games.
Meantime, Surrey’s COVID-19 compliance and enforcement team says it will get tough on Canucks fans on Scott Road.
“Canuck fans who gathered in large groups without masks on Friday night should consider this to be their warning,” Roger Green, Sergeant of the Surrey COVID-19 Compliance and Enforcement Team, said in a news release Monday.
“The public and the police are not happy with the disregard for physical distancing and expect you do to better for the sake of your families, yourselves, and your fellow residents.”
Since March 2020, CCET has been “proactively conducting outreach around Surrey to ensure that residents, business owners and organizations understand their obligations to stop the spread of COVID-19 by following health orders,” the news release says.
CCET, which involves Surrey RCMP officers and City of Surrey bylaw officers, conducts approximately 60 proactive compliance checks each day, as well as responding to calls for service.
Delta residents concerned about COVID-19 violations are asked to contact Delta Bylaws at 604-946-4141 or, during non-business hours, call the DPD’s non-emergency line at 604-946-4411. In Surrey, call the city’s bylaw call centre at 604-591-4370 or the Surrey RCMP non-emergency line at 604-599-0502.
— with files from Tom Zillich