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Long weekend brings violence to Whistler

Two assaulted, dozens arrested; slight improvement over last year



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The second victim, a 30 year old man from North Vancouver, had a cut on his forehead but was not deemed seriously injured.

The suspect is a 20-year-old male from Aldergrove who was apprehended by doormen and arrested by officers. He was released on the morning of May 23, and, if charges are approved, will appear in court in North Vancouver at the end of July.

The police are still investigating what happened, but said the Whistler man was not part of the altercation but rather was an innocent third party who happened to be in the area.

One of the areas where the RCMP saw an improvement this year was in the behaviour of grad parties.

"What was important for us is that we did a lot of communication work with the schools’ liaison officers in the Lower Mainland area this year, and we knew in advance that we were going to have a lot of grad classes coming to celebrate," said Haider.

"Quite frankly there were some issues with them, but it hasn’t been as bad as it’s been in past years. Some of the hotels were better prepared for them as well and I think they screened them better this year.

"It’s a real challenge for the hotel accommodation sector because a lot of kids are having their parents book rooms online and they (the grads) are just showing up and saying ‘where’s my key?’

"We still had our non-desirable groups coming up as well, the non-grads. We get infiltrated at this time of year because the hotels do reduce their room rates and that does attract that clientele – they don’t go skiing, they don’t go hiking, they don’t go mountain biking, they just party, party, party and take advantage of us."

Although the RCMP were kept busy, Haider says there were some signs of improvement this year that were related to the activities of the Public Safety Committee. Only one serious incident, the broken glass at Garfinkel’s, was reported from within the nightclubs.

"In some ways it was probably better (this year)," said Haider. "I think we were better prepared for one.

"I think the communication between nightclubs, bylaw and ourselves was excellent, which is one of the reasons the community is as safe as it is."

The roadblocks also helped to establish a police presence early in the weekend for most visitors, Haider says.