- BC Games
Fake guns and costumes don’t mix: West Van police
West Vancouver police are urging Halloweeners not to carry fake guns and other weapons as part of their costumes because officers could easily mistake them as real.
Even though police are aware it’s the trick-or-treating season, they still have to respond to reports of firearms with the possibility the weapons are real, which can put the carrier, police and the public at risk.
“Like anywhere in the Lower Mainland there is history of offences involving firearms so we can’t just blanket assume it’s Halloween so therefore it wouldn’t be a real weapon. We do have to respond tactically,” said WVPD Const. Jeff Palmer.
“It’s an unnecessary risk for a costume or dramatic effect.”
In dim light, added Palmer, it can be difficult for people to spot orange stoppers and other gadgets that are supposed to indicate a gun is actually a toy.
“Is it really that important for your costume to have a realistic weapon included in it? No.”
Reports of firearms made by the public have to be taken seriously, even if it is suspected to be just part of a Halloween costume, he said.
There were no incidents involving fake firearms that Palmer was aware of on Oct. 25 and 26, the popular Halloween party weekend, but the expected mass of trick-or-treaters and others celebrating at night could spark concern for some West Van residents.
During the summer the WVPD were called out by security at Park Royal South who reported a teenager with a pistol tucked into the waistband of her pants.
Officers found the 13-year-old girl, who they say was carrying a pellet gun bought for her by an older sibling because she wanted to look like “a thug.”
A friend was also packing a fake gun, which was seized by police and destroyed.
The teens were lucky to get off with just a stern warning, said police at time.
After this incident, they advised reports of carrying firearms can lead to criminal charges.