Hands Off! campaign launched in Vancouver on Nov. 26, 2019 by Vancouver Police, Barwatch and Metro Vancouver Transit Police. (Police handout)

Hands Off! campaign targets gropers on public transit, in bars in Vancouver

More than 250 reports of groping have been investigated in Vancouver since 2018

Groping is a crime and the Vancouver police are launching a new campaign aimed at reminding offenders it’s not OK to touch someone without their consent.

In partnership with Metro Vancouver Transit Police and the Barwatch organization, the Vancouver depatchment launched the Hands Off! campaign Tuesday, following an alarming number of recent groping incidents, said Sgt. Steve Addison.

“Almost everyone has been – or knows someone who has been – grabbed or fondled by a stranger in a public place,” he said. “It appears that some people don’t understand that groping is a crime. Anyone who does this could be arrested and charged.”

ALSO READ: Surrey cops looking for Guildford groping suspect

Since the beginning of 2018, police in Vancouver have investigated 174 reports of unwanted sexual contact from strangers in public places, while transit police looked into 75 further incidents on buses and SkyTrains.

Unwanted touching can happen anywhere, but authorities say it’s most prevalent in crowded places like bars, clubs, buses, and trains.

“Despite our constant efforts to reduce incidents of groping, these continue to be a serious issue on the transit system,” said Sgt. Clint Hampton, with the transit police. “Offenders need to realize that these are all sexual assaults, and anyone who commits an act of groping is a sexual offender.”

The campaign will take the form of posters in restaurants and nightclubs throughout the city, as well as in SkyTrain cars and at bus stations.

Vancouver police urge anyone who falls victim to groping or who witnesses it to call 911.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Visitor to Kamloops army club tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The individual visited Anavets 290 Army and Navy Club between March 13 and March 17

Vernon family shares story of son’s cancer recovery to encourage blood donation

Finlay Ritson’s parents can’t donate blood, but hope his story will encourage others to do so

Vernon Superstore sees long lineups amid COVID-19

Long lineups Saturday evidence customers following social-distancing protocols

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

COVID-19: Upcoming season a question mark for Enderby drive-in movie theatre

Starlight Drive In Movie Theatre says it’s working on limiting capacity among other safeguards

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Mitchell’s Musings: Pandemics and parking meters don’t add up

Despite COVID-19 crisis, City of Vernon insists on paid parking downtown

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

COVID-19: Staying home in Shuswap is difficult when you don’t have one

As the snow flies, people without homes in Salmon Arm talk about how tough life is

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Woman raised in Shuswap on COVID-19 frontline with field hospital in Italy

Bev Kauffeldt is leading a medical team at the temporary hospital run by Samaritan’s Purse

Most Read