General News · 13th April 2020
Cpl. Sean Bulford
As residents of our Islands are now aware, BC Parks has closed all day use and campgrounds to the public, Province wide. This action was not taken lightly by BC Parks, however in an effort to promote proper social distancing, it was deemed necessary. This closure can be enforced by Park Rangers and local RCMP under existing Parks Regulations. Disobeying this temporary closure can result in a $115 fine.
I trust that local residents will respect this closure, as much as it inconveniences us. Had BC Parks elected to close parks in a piecemeal fashion, it would likely have created a situation in which people flocked to the remaining open parks. The bathroom and garbage facilities had already been closed, and eventually this would have resulted in a mess in our local parks. Luckily these Islands have many other options available to locals for outdoor activities. I would like to remind everyone that we are encouraging visitors to stay away for the time being, and if it's observed that locals are still frequenting the parks, and walking past the closed gates, it could lead to other visitors attempting to travel here for the same purpose. We appreciate the closure of the parks effects all local residents, our families included, but we're all being asked to make sacrifices for the greater good right now. Our collective efforts in BC have produced results so far, and all first responders are very thankful for the vast majority of our local population that are contributing to this.
Public Health Canada has mandated that all people returning from international travel, self isolate for 14 days. This is not an option, nor is it a time to bend rules or push limits. Currently there is no enforcement action the police can take in the way of fines, contrary to some media reports. However, this is being worked out, and that will change in short order. The fines under this legislation will not be trivial. The Quarantine Act is Federal Legislation.
The Province of BC has also issued several public health orders to promote social distancing. Currently the police do not have enforcement powers or fine options. BC is taking the public education route, in the hopes that the majority of the public will do the right thing. This could change in the near future, but again, attempts to bend the rules could lead the provincial government to take a stricter stance on this as other Provinces have. With that in mind, now is not the time to be having parties. I've observed signs on some local beaches of recent camp fires. There is a year round fire ban on all Quadra Island beaches. The Fire Department should not have to be responding to calls such as this during a Pandemic, as we require them to be healthy for real emergencies. I again, would like to thank the vast majority of residents for complying with the public health orders, closures, and fire bans. That being said, if certain individuals take it upon themselves to bend or break rules, under the assumption that there will be no enforcement, you will find our usual level of discretion does not apply and fines under any applicable legislation will be utilized.
Good work being done
On February 22nd, 2020 a seasonal home owner on Quadra Island reported that two of their Wifi enabled wireless security cameras were stolen. A prolific property crime offender, well known to police, lived in the immediate area. The last footage of the suspect removing the cameras was inconclusive for identification purposes, depicting the suspects clothing only. Forensic examination of the remaining evidence did not turn up any fingerprints. As is often the case in police work, you can "know" who did something, yet have a very difficult time finding the necessary evidence to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. Fortunately, sometimes the suspects help you out. Within a few weeks the home owners began getting uploads to their cloud based system from their "boatshed" camera. However, the video was not of their boatshed, but some unrecognizable back yard. The victims of the theft forwarded this information to the lead investigator, who immediately recognized the house of our suspect from previous court ordered curfew checks. The videos kept uploading to the victim's cloud based system, because their seasonal home was close enough to the suspects house that the cameras were able to connect to their Wifi.
Soon the suspect placed both stolen cameras on his property, including in his room, which provided evidence for offences beyond the possession of two stolen security cameras. The lead investigator worked throughout the weekend to draft an Information to Obtain a search warrant on the suspects home. On March 16th, that search warrant was executed. The stolen security cameras were recovered, along with a sizeable quantity of suspected Crystal Methamphetamine, stolen mail from Campbell River and Courtney, numerous pieces of stolen identification and credit cards. The suspect was released on strict conditions and is awaiting his first court appearance. This is a large and complex file, which extends into other jurisdictions. It's anticipated that many more charges of fraud will be forthcoming as statements and evidence is collected with the assistance of the Island District General Investigation Unit.
Cpl. Sean Bulford
Cpl. Sean Bulford
Regimental No. 54239
Quadra Island Detachment