People gathered in large crowds on downtown Vancouver’s Granville Street strip on Halloween night, but the city’s police force says it did not attempt to disperse the crowd or issue tickets, although it did make some arrests.
“The number of partiers along the (Granville strip) grew larger than expected during a pandemic,” said Vancouver police spokesperson Const. Jason Doucette by email.
“Due to a number of factors on Halloween night, physically attempting to disperse the alcohol-fuelled crowd or issue tickets wasn’t appropriate,” Doucette continued.
Video taken by CTV News Vancouver on Halloween night shows people gathered closely and milling around the street, some in Halloween costumes, and very few wearing face masks, which help prevent the spread of COVD-19.
Vancouver police are “disappointed” that party-goers “did not listen to the advice of our public health officer and chose to gather in large crowds along the Granville Mall,” Doucette wrote.
The majority of the crowds were peaceful, said police, but “there were others who acted out and needed to be removed from the area by police.”
One Vancouver police officer took to Twitter to report that he’d been “swarmed” and had to call for backup.
“Group of us were just swarmed by an angry crowd on the Granville Mall after a street party erupted,” his post reads.
Doucette did not comment specifically on the officer’s claim to have been “swarmed,” but said police from around the city were called in to help with crowd control in the area.
“Additional resources were brought in from around the city to assist in creating a safer environment for the public and our officers,” reads his statement.
Although Doucette said that officers did not disperse the crowd, he said there were a number of arrests for “relatively minor offences, such as causing a disturbance.”
Group of us were just swarmed by an angry crowd on the Granville Mall after a street party erupted.
Had to call for code 3 cover.
No better sound than sirens surrounding you from all sides coming to help. #NotYourAverageHalloween #VPD