Police Applaud New Anti-Trespassing Rules

Thursday, July 02, 2009 at 16:38



A sergeant with the Prince Albert Police Service says a lot of good things could come out of the province’s new law regarding trespassing.


The new law gives police the right to slap fines of up to $2,000 on anyone who refuses to leave private or commercial property or ignores posted “No Trespassing” signs.


Up until now, police were forced to take people to court to prove a criminal charge.


Sergeant Jason Stonechild says he believes the law could have prevented the recent tragedy involving Dean Josie.


The Wollaston Lake teenager died at a party where as many as 40 to 50 young teenagers were sitting around drinking near Carlton High School.


Stonechild says police could have kept the teens out of there if they had had the new trespassing law.


“With the nice weather, we have a lot of kids who are roaming about the streets, and now with this technology and texting, you can’t scatter and disperse them, because they will contact each other through texting,” Stonechild says.


However, he says, if the teens know they’ll get a $2,000 fine, they’ll be motivated to stay away from areas police have sent them away from.


Meantime, a senior Crown lawyer with the province says the new law will have some power on reserves too.


Mary-Ellen Welsh says the only way bands can circumvent it is if they already have trespassing laws in place, or pass new ones.


The Tresspass to Property Act came into effect on July 1.