March 30, 2016 10:51 am
Updated: March 31, 2016 8:20 am

Burnaby RCMP hold safety awareness session in light of recent sex assaults

WATCH: There have been five sex assaults in Burnaby in recent months, but so far, no arrests. Catherine Urquhart reports from a safety meeting, where RCMP are asking women to be vigilant.


More than 100 people attended a personal safety awareness session hosted by Burnaby RCMP Wednesday night in light of a series of recent sexual assaults in the city.

Some of the topics the Mounties covered included understanding basic principles of personal safety, learning practical safety tips, recognizing danger and knowing what to do in a compromising situation.

The session was part of Burnaby RCMP’s regular Safe Community Series, and comes in the wake of five sex assaults that have been reported in the city since the end of January.

On March 6, a woman was sexually assaulted on a popular trail near the Lake City SkyTrain station. A Good Samaritan managed to scare off the suspect. The attack came one day after an assault on Holdom Avenue.

Three other assaults have been reported in Burnaby in recent weeks.

A map issued by Burnaby RCMP shows the locations of recent sex assaults in the area.

Burnaby RCMP

RCMP aren’t saying if they think all the attacks are connected to one suspect.

Police have assembled a task force and are working with other police forces to see if the attacks are connected to other sex assaults in the Metro Vancouver area.

WATCH: Police are warning women to be extra vigilant in Burnaby, after two women report sexual assaults. A special task force has been established to investigate the attacks. Jill Bennett has the details.

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Corp. Daniela Panesar of Burnaby RCMP said in a release personal safety is always an issue of importance for everyone so they encourage the community to play an active role and become educated on personal safety by attending tonight’s seminar.

Mounties are reminding the public not to walk or jog early in the morning or late at night when the streets are deserted, stay visible and stick to well-lit areas and walk with confidence.

And if you think someone is following you, switch directions or cross the street. If the person continues to follow you, move quickly toward an open store, restaurant or a lighted house and don’t be afraid to yell for help and call 911.

“We’re concerned this has happened and that why we’re doing this tonight,” RCMP Staff Sgt. Major John Buis said. “I think that if people follow some of the common sense tips that are going to be presented tonight there’s a greater sense of security.”

– With files from Jon Azpiri

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