Multiple tickets issued

Tickets in excess of $750

Article by Valerie MacDonald 

Cobourg police are issuing tickets to those breaking the stay-at-home order.

Despite verbal abuse from a group of about 25 – 30 people gathered at Victoria Hall again last Saturday, Cobourg Police issued seven tickets to those contravening the stay-at-home order and another two for obstruction with regards to the order. Attempts are being made to identify another three people who were there, Cobourg Police Chief Paul Van de Graaf said during a virtual Cobourg Police media conference held early Monday afternoon.

The Chief warned that more tickets will be issued if such a group gathers again and when warned, refuses to disperse.

The Chief said his men remained calm in the face of disrespectful comments and “slurs” that in his view were no longer part a “peaceful protest” but “bordered on the criminal.”

Police are not there to debate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, COVID policies or anything other than to promote compliance, he said. Police start by engaging with those who have left their homes obviously not for “essential” trips (as designated by the provincial stay-home-order) then they explain and ask those congregating to disperse. If they do not, tickets are the next step. 

Asked about penalties, the Chief said they are up to $750 to $1,000 in fines before the victims’ surcharge and if a ticket is processed in court as a summary offence, the cost “could be more.”

Both local police board chair Dean Pepper and Cobourg Mayor John Henderson participated in the virtual media conference and said the board and municipality are supporting the police action.

Henderson stressed that it is important to deliver the message that they have to enforce the stay-at-home order to keep the community safe with case numbers rising amidst the third wave of the pandemic.

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