The Nelson Police Department is currently grappling with an early influx of seasonal transients who have been sleeping on private property and causing drunken disturbances downtown.

Cops grapple with drunk transients

An early influx of visitors has police busy with disturbances, trespassing incidents.

The Nelson Police Department is currently grappling with an early influx of seasonal transients who have been sleeping on private property and causing drunken disturbances downtown.

“We get this every year, but this time around it’s happening really early,” said Sgt. Paul Bayes.

“The evening’s have been really cold, and with the shelter in transition between Stepping Stones and the new building, we’re seeing lots of people in bank vestibules, doorways, on people’s private properties.”

And though many of the temporary squatters have agreed to move on without incident, police have also encountered some resistance from the nomadic visitors.

“Their history and demeanor will reflect how they’re dealt with. But if they’re severely out of control, if they’re a safety risk to themselves or somebody else, then they’re coming in overnight.”

He said they end up holding someone overnight “every weekend, guaranteed.”

Bayes personally was on scene for the recent arrest of a drunken, intoxicated man who uttered threats downtown and led a multi-person chase past the Hume Hotel.

“It’s part of our job, and it happens. There’s always something else going on in the community that we’d like to devote more resources to, but with incidents like that it’s not something we can just ignore.”

Bayes said the incidents have been time-consuming.

“Maybe if we weren’t dealing with this guy passed out on the street, or waiting for an ambulance to show up, we would be patrolling these alleys to see if someone’s about to boot in a door,” said Bayes, alluding to the recent robberies of The Royal and Max and Irma’s.

And though those investigations are ongoing, Bayes said there have been no further break-ins reported since.

Bayes reminded the community that those caught drinking in public can face a $230 fine, and those found intoxicated could receive a $115 penalty.

“Personally I can’t afford a $230 fine for a two-dollar beer. You got to know your limit and stay within in, to quote ICBC,” he said.

He said it’s not only the nomadic visitors who are responsible for the outdoor drinking, as they’ve also been catching Nelson residents pre-drinking en route to downtown.

“I just want to remind people that sometimes you want to have a beer on the way to the bar, but it’s not allowed and there’s a good reason for that. Please respect that it’s against the law.”

Just Posted

Nelson’s Maglio hired by Spokane Chiefs

Adam Maglio will serve as an assistant coach with the WHL team

COLUMN: Working together on climate action with our MLAs

Katherine Oldfield writes about the Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s trip to Victoria

Buddhist monument to be dedicated in Slocan cemetery

A new post has been created to mark the site where at least nine Japanese Canadians were cremated

COLUMN: 1919 – Forest fire threatens Rosemont

From the files of the Nelson Daily News

LETTER: A good news story

From reader Lonnie Snyder

Food fight: Liberals, Tories trade shots as pre-campaign battles intensify

Health Canada released an overhauled document that did away with traditional food groups and portion sizes

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Two brands of ice cream sandwiches recalled due to presence of metal

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a recall on Iceberg and Originale Augustin brands

Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

Rates of police-reported sexual assault rose for the fourth year in a row

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Most Read