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Vancouver businesses slapped with $20K in fines over illegal bear spray sales: Police

Click to play video: 'Vancouver puts restrictions on the sale of bear spray'
Vancouver puts restrictions on the sale of bear spray
Following a string of violent incidents involving bear spray, Vancouver city council has voted on stricted regulations limiting its sale. Emad Agahi explains the new rules – Mar 29, 2023

Police have slapped 10 Vancouver businesses with $20,000 in fines for allegedly illegally selling bear spray.

The fines were issued under a new City of Vancouver’s bylaw, which limits where stores can display the spray and bans its sale to people under the age of 19.

The bylaw requires buyers to provide ID and requires businesses to keep a record of all sales for one year.

Click to play video: 'Bear spray robbery captured on camera at Vancouver bus stop'
Bear spray robbery captured on camera at Vancouver bus stop

Council approved the bylaw last spring after police warned of a 121-per cent uptick in violent bear spray use, particularly among youth between 2018 and 2022.

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“This operation shows there is still more work needed to educate retailers and gain compliance with the new bylaw,” Const. Tania Visnintin said in a Thursday media release. “This is about public safety and protecting our youth, and it’s concerning that more than a third of the businesses we visited were breaking the rules.”

Click to play video: 'Suspects charged after nabbing $25K in goods from Vancouver Arc’teryx store'
Suspects charged after nabbing $25K in goods from Vancouver Arc’teryx store

Visintin said prior to issuing the fines, police reached out to 60 businesses with information and education about the new bylaw.

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All of the fines were issued for failing to record sales and keep appropriate records, police said.

Police said they believe the bylaw is making a dent in the bear spray problem, noting that incidents involving youth possessing the spray fell by 12 per cent between August and December 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.

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