Issues related to fireworks during Halloween weekend weren’t as bad in the Cowichan Valley as last year, but the problems have to be dealt with, according to the RCMP.
While presenting the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment’s third-quarter report to North Cowichan’s council on Nov. 3, detachment head Insp. Chris Bear said police spent a lot of time on Halloween weekend trying to chase and catch those setting off fireworks illegally.
“It’s generally individuals with fireworks permits [from the municipality] that abide by all the rules and conditions, but it’s those that don’t have a permit that are usually gone upon our arrival,” Bear said.
“In years past during Halloween, we saw a great deal of kids setting off fireworks and we end up chasing them almost all night. I think we need to look at who is giving the kids the fireworks, who is selling them and if parents are giving them to their kids, they need to be held accountable as well. We see lots of injuries from fireworks.”
The buying and selling of fireworks is prohibited in North Cowichan and a fireworks permit is required to possess or discharge them.
Permit applicants must be at least 18 years old to apply for a permit; fireworks can’t be set off within 500 metres of a property with livestock; and they can’t create a risk to the public or private property.
North Cowichan also limits fireworks permits to Jan. 1, July 1, and Oct. 31, but allows requests to be made for other dates.
Bear told council that residents of other jurisdictions in the Valley, including the Cowichan Valley Regional District, also complained about the fireworks being set off during Halloween weekend this year, with some saying that their animals were scared.
“I haven’t tallied up the number [of complaints received] this year, but we got our fair share,” he said.