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Olympics relatively quiet for RCMP

Different demographic, high police presence credited


Staff Sergeant Steve LeClair attributed Whistler's relatively tame Olympic Games to a high police presence and visitor demographics.

Two days before the closing ceremonies, LeClair said almost all arrests made were for intoxication in public. And while RCMP officers were arresting six to 10 people every night, those numbers aren't any different than a busy Friday or Saturday night in Whistler Village.

"In the village at night, you couldn't walk 100 feet without seeing two police officers on patrol, and I think that has contributed to the public safety aspect of it," said LeClair.

"I think we are seeing a different demographic up here as well. We are seeing people that want to come up and celebrate the Olympic experience, and residents that want to come out and celebrate the Olympic experience."

He suggested that there were not many young people coming up from the city or Washington state and those are the people who are more likely to get involved in rowdy behaviour.

And while many people wandered through Whistler with too much alcohol in their system, LeClair said there was very little open alcohol and the number of calls for service was down.

RCMP officers also only had two reports of sexual assault between Feb. 11 and Feb. 26.

One incident involved a male groping a female. The suspect was arrested. The victim was annoyed and upset at the time, said LeClair, but didn't end up proceeding with charges.

The other episode was brought to the RCMP's attention by someone who knew the alleged victim, although the alleged victim has not yet co-operated with officers.

The RCMP also dealt with several fake 911 calls. And they went to a keg party on Alpha Lake Road one night and seized four kegs of beer under B.C.'s liquor control and licensing act.

"It has been fairly easy for us," he said.

"Obviously, we had never hosted the Olympics, so we didn't know what to expect, but we are pleased with what has gone on so far. The vibe is really positive, and there is a great atmosphere. I think the arrests we are making are within what you come to expect from a busy Friday and Saturday night, and people are very co-operative and very law abiding."

The total number of RCMP arrests should be available next week, added LeClair.