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

‘Exciting’ Aldergrove Town Centre proposal clears first hurdle

Township council passes first and second readings of Janda Group’s plans for the old mall downtown

Theatre students tackle mental health in stage production

Langley actor Brayden Meehan stars in Capilano University production of 7 Stories, Feb. 4 to 8

Party bus door fault for years ahead of Langley woman’s death: Coroner

Tuesday report classifed Chelsea James’ death accidental, but was critical of bus inspection process

VIDEO: House fire on Old Yale Road draws multiple fire units

No immediate reports of serious injuries

Rising jazz stars welcome to apply for Fort Langley festival award

Winner will receive a scholarship of $1,000 and a main stage performance opportunity

VIDEO: Feds look to help 126 Canadians quarantined in China for coronavirus

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the new virus, with more than 100 deaths

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Uber threatens legal action to ‘defend its right’ to operate in Surrey

‘I have no concerns,’ Mayor Doug McCallum replies

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Bystander who tried to help dog being attacked not liable for its death: B.C. tribunal

Owner of dog killed tried to get $5,000 in damages from man who tried to save it

INFOGRAPHIC: See how fast your B.C. city grew in 2019

The province’s fastest-growing municipalities were located on Vancouver Island

Landowner hearings begin for Trans Mountain expansion in Alberta

Detailed route talks start in Spruce Grove, in B.C. communities soon

Alessia Cara to host and perform at 2020 Juno Awards

Multi-platinum Canadian singer-songwriter also up for six awards, including Artist of the Year

Most Read