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Vancouver man spends Christmas Day in jail after violating PHO on parties, social gatherings

Vancouver police say they have received 12 complaints about noise and parties at the man’s downtown apartment since September.
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Vancouver Police say they arrested a 24-year-old man on Christmas Day for repeatedly violating the Public Health Order that bans parties and social gatherings.

Vancouver Police say they arrested a 24-year-old man on Christmas Day for repeatedly violating the public health order that bans parties and social gatherings.

The Vancouver resident was arrested Dec. 25, and released from jail on Boxing Day. He is now bound by bail conditions and can be arrested again if he violates the COVID-19 Related Measures Act, the VPD explains in a news release. 

Now, the man must answer the door if police knock, must comply with all provincial health orders, and can only have two other people in his residence.

“Our officers issued multiple warnings and issued tickets to this man over several weeks, asking him to stop hosting parties during the pandemic,” says Sergeant Steve Addison, VPD. “He made clear that he has no plans to stop, so our officers obtained an arrest warrant and he spent Christmas in jail.”

12 complaints since September

In total, the VPD says it has received 12 complaints about noise and parties at the man’s downtown apartment since September. And earlier this month, the VPD  issued two $2,300 tickets.

After a neighbour complained about another loud party on Dec. 18, VPD officers worked with Crown counsel to obtain a warrant. Following this, the man has been charged under Section 99 of the Public Health Order.

“This should serve as a reminder to anyone who thinks it’s still ok to ignore the Public Health Order and put other people at risk,” adds Sergeant Addison.

Open to interpretation?

The Covid-19 Related Measures Act bans social gatherings of any size inside residences, but allows people who live alone to host two people with whom they regularly socialize.

As for anyone who plans to throw a massive house party or a large gathering on New Year's Eve, the public health order on gatherings is clear and enforceable. 

The order is in effect from Nov. 19, 2020 at midnight to Jan. 8, 2021 at midnight.

British Columbians caught flouting COVID-19 restrictions and deemed guilty will immediately be sent to collections.

VPD has issued 21 tickets for unlawful social gatherings since the Public Health Order took effect.