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Delta bylaw changes coming following chaotic Halloween incident

Fireworks were being intentionally shot at people during the large, unruly gathering of young people
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Delta Police described what happened on Halloween night at South Delta Secondary and Dennison Park as ‘mob mentality’.

The City of Delta will be looking at how its current fireworks bylaw can be made even tougher.

Mayor George Harvie at city council’s meeting on Monday, announced that he has asked the city manager to coordinate a meeting with the Delta Police Chief, Delta Fire Chief and the school district to review the issue and collaborate on potential bylaw amendments.

A report is to come back to council at a meeting next month.

The review comes following a serious Halloween night incident at South Delta Secondary and Dennison Park.

An estimated 400 youths engaged in a wild fireworks fight that resulted in several injuries to the participants as well as police officers.

Noting that some have “exhibited unprecedented, poor and dangerous behaviour related to fireworks”, Harvie said he’s looking forward to having council meet with school trustees to look at ideas on a bylaw that is suitable for the community.

Selling, possessing and transporting fireworks in Delta without a permit is currently prohibited.

Those who choose to go against the city-wide ban could face a $200 fine for possession if they don’t have a permit. Permits need to be obtained at least 10 days before an event and several conditions must be met.

It’s up to city bylaws officers and police to enforce the ban.

Following the Halloween night incident, DPD public affairs manager Acting Insp. James Sandberg said parents have to take a lot more responsibility.

Fire Chief Guy McKintuck also expressed concerns following the incident, saying there were a number of reported calls, which included several garbage can fires and one hedge fire that almost resulted in several house fires.

Delta Police Chief Neil Dubord said the DPD would be working with its partners from the Delta School District and the city to further investigate this incident.

The issue of fireworks is not a new one in the city as Dubord told the Delta Police Board late last year that a large number of complaints were made during Halloween 2021 and other celebration events.

At that time, he said his department was considering having a dedicated team activated, during special events when fireworks could be popular, to respond to complaints as well as enforcement.

A stronger communication plan on the use of fireworks in Delta being illegal is also needed, while community leaders are also needed to support the messaging, he added.

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