Hands Off! campaign launched in Vancouver on Nov. 26, 2019 by Vancouver Police, Barwatch and Metro Vancouver Transit Police. (Police handout)

Hands Off! campaign targets gropers on public transit, in bars in Vancouver

More than 250 reports of groping have been investigated in Vancouver since 2018

Groping is a crime and the Vancouver police are launching a new campaign aimed at reminding offenders it’s not OK to touch someone without their consent.

In partnership with Metro Vancouver Transit Police and the Barwatch organization, the Vancouver depatchment launched the Hands Off! campaign Tuesday, following an alarming number of recent groping incidents, said Sgt. Steve Addison.

“Almost everyone has been – or knows someone who has been – grabbed or fondled by a stranger in a public place,” he said. “It appears that some people don’t understand that groping is a crime. Anyone who does this could be arrested and charged.”

ALSO READ: Surrey cops looking for Guildford groping suspect

Since the beginning of 2018, police in Vancouver have investigated 174 reports of unwanted sexual contact from strangers in public places, while transit police looked into 75 further incidents on buses and SkyTrains.

Unwanted touching can happen anywhere, but authorities say it’s most prevalent in crowded places like bars, clubs, buses, and trains.

“Despite our constant efforts to reduce incidents of groping, these continue to be a serious issue on the transit system,” said Sgt. Clint Hampton, with the transit police. “Offenders need to realize that these are all sexual assaults, and anyone who commits an act of groping is a sexual offender.”

The campaign will take the form of posters in restaurants and nightclubs throughout the city, as well as in SkyTrain cars and at bus stations.

Vancouver police urge anyone who falls victim to groping or who witnesses it to call 911.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Mercedes SUV is covered at a gas station in the Clayton area following a deadly shooting there on Sept. 28, 2019. (File photo)
Thomas Dawson Peacock
Surrey man, 32, charged with sexual interference

Incidents alleged to have happened in Surrey and Abbotsford

The number of new COVID-19 cases has risen sharply in Vancouver and the Fraser North region over the last week.
Chart: Tyler Olsen
CHARTS: Weekly COVID-19 case double in Fraser North health area, up 50% in Vancouver

The number of new COVID-19 cases has risen sharply in Vancouver and the Fraser North region.

BC Hockey League commissioner Chris Hebb says the league is still on track to begin regular-season play in early December. (BCHL photo)
BCHL still on track to begin regular season in December

Commish hopeful that league can “slide right into the regular season” after successful preseason

(Delta Police Department photo)
No offence in second incident involving a teen girl being approached in Tsawwassen: police

Police still investigating incident on Oct. 15 where teen girl was approached by older man in a burgundy car

Physical distancing signs are a common sight in B.C. stores and businesses. THE CANADIAN PRESS
272 more COVID-19 cases for B.C., outbreak at oil sands project

Three new health care outbreaks, three declared over

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

The Excelsior 4 are set to make their second court appearance in Abbotsford on Monday (Nov. 2). (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
‘Excelsior 4’: Animal activists set to enter not guilty plea in Abbotsford hog farm case

Animal rights activists expected to plead not guilty to charges, protest for Vancouver scheduled

Dennis Cholowski shows off a Jordan 2 Retro Just Don Blue sneaker, the type of shoe only a true sneakerhead would appreciate. (Facebook photo)
VIDEO: Chilliwack Chiefs alum Dennis Cholowski shows off ‘sneakerhead’ collection

The Detroit Red Wing has been spending his NHL paycheques building up an impressive closet of shoes

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Most Read