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

Hospital patient pleads guilty to dumbbell assault of nurse in Abbotsford

Neale Heath admits to assault causing bodily harm in attack last September

VIDEO: Asphalt plant protest takes place outside Mission City Hall

Group from Steelhead oppose proposed project, want public hearing reopened

Westbound Highway 1 roll-over crash slowing commuters in Abbotsford

Accident occurred just west of Mt. Lehman Road, left lane blocked

World-renowned violinist to perform at Abbotsford prison

Gidon Kremer’s concert on Jan. 29 is part of Looking at the Stars’ program

Suspected dine-and-dasher who pulled gun on staff arrested by Abbotsford police

Police recognized man from description of neck and arm tattoos

Protesters block entrance to Victoria government building to support Wet’suwet’en First Nation

A letter with four demands was delivered to the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

VIDEO: Langley woman without a home after houseboat sinks during snowy weather

A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help the Grant’s Landing resident replace her possessions

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

‘Epic sky palace’: B.C. businesses help create dream treehouse for boy recovering from cancer

‘It was kind of a bright shining beacon at the end of a horrible, dark tunnel’

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

B.C. teacher suspended for poking student in stomach, pulling another’s ponytail

Teacher also swore in classroom, used Facebook to contact students

Larry Walker Jr. and Sr. keeping expectations low for hall-of-fame induction

Walker needs 75 percent of votes in order to be inducted into Cooperstown

Gene Simmons to launch new Titans of Rock music festival in Grand Forks

The rock legend has partnered with Chuck Varabioff to run Titans of Rock in Grand Forks

Most Read