Plain-clothed members of the RCMP toured Kelowna both by transit and on foot on March 31, after recent reports of groups of youth causing trouble on buses and in the downtown area.
Members of the Kelowna RCMP’s Community Safety Unit spent time riding the different routes between the Queensway and UBCO and reported that in general, they saw most customers being polite and courteous to other passengers and the drivers.
“The buses had an inviting environment, passengers were happy and people were very polite to the drivers,” said Cpl. Michael Gauthier, who participated in the project. “It was nice seeing passengers yelling thank you from the back of the bus as they were stepping off, it’s a gentle reminder of how everyone should carry themselves.”
The plain-clothed officers then took to the area of the McCurdy Road quarry after dark, where bush parties have recently been a concern, though, on this particular evening, there was no partying.
This is the same area where two separate alleged assaults took place last month.
It was a different story when officers visited the downtown core to end the evening, where police seized a weapon, alcohol and drugs, arrested two people for being intoxicated in public, charging one criminally, and had to intervene in what could have been a large fight between two groups of youths.
Sgt. Scott Powrie of the Community Safety Unit said this is “turning into a recurring problem”, and that it often seems to be the same group of people causing trouble.
“These enforcement initiatives will continue until the message is fully received, zero tolerance.”