VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The City of Vancouver is making it easier for people to report violations of COVID-19 public health orders.
Anyone who spots rule breakers can use an online reporting tool to submit a ‘COVID-19 enforcement request’.
Looking to report an event or incident not following provincial health legislation? Report it to us via our VanConnect app or by calling 311. Please do not call 911 as those lines are for emergency situations. #covid19 https://t.co/pBQhMzlTVp pic.twitter.com/qTDLf2exU1
— City of Vancouver (@CityofVancouver) August 21, 2020
Options for infractions to report include “promotion of large gatherings or events,” “house party,” and “too many people inside a business.” Details about where and when the violation took place must be added and there’s the option of uploading a photo.
The city is anticipating a surge of calls in the wake of newly announced penalties and stepped up enforcement efforts for those who violate public health orders.
“My sense is that we will see an increase in calls and reports,” says Jessie Adcock, general manager of development, buildings, and licensing.
“The cases are going up and I think most people would agree there is just a heightened level of concern.”
Providing an option to easily report to the city is meant to divert calls away from 911 and police.
“What we’re trying to do is provide an outlet for citizens and businesses to report their concerns and also allow us to funnel them to a central location where we can triage them and make sure that we escalate all the serious concerns over to Vancouver Coastal Health and VPD in in a really thoughtful way,” Adcock explains.
#HelpUsHelp keep 9-1-1 free for life and death emergencies.
To report a violation of COVID-19 health orders, pls contact your local bylaw office—if unavailable, call your local police non-emergency line.
— E-Comm 9-1-1 (@EComm911_info) August 21, 2020
Adcock says the city understands that situations being reported — such as parties or crowds — will likely be fluid. It’s too soon to tell how long it will take for an officer to be deployed to respond to an enforcement request.
The public can help by sticking to reports of incidents where specific public health orders are clearly being violated.
“Ultimately, I think what we want to so is we want to encourage people to report on those things that are enforceable,” Adcock says.