Newsletter Article: Copping IN

Posted on Monday September 18, 2017 |

Project Access will allow Vancouver Police into your public areas faster.

The outcome of a crime can depend on how fast the police can get to the scene. But what happens if the building is locked? Along with legal issues, the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) often confront today’s high-level security systems. Hence Project Access.

When police can enter...

During an emergency, VPD officers have the authority to make a forced legal entry into private premises without a warrant if:

1) The officer has reasonable grounds to believe an emergent situation exists involving preservation of life or prevention of serious injury; and

2) A proper announcement is made prior to entry, including notice of presence, notice of purpose and notice of authority. Examples of when this procedure would be used include: hang-up 9-1-1, domestic disturbances, home invasions, weapons calls and suicidal person calls.

…and when they can’t.

Examples of when forced entry would not be authorized include: break and enter report without a suspect, surveillance, warrant arrests, curfew checks and noise complaints.

This principle applies to circumstances involving the prevention of an offence likely to cause death or injury. It also applies when police need to enter a premise to prevent death or further injury after an offence has already occurred. The police must be able to articulate the reasonable grounds upon which they acted.

The Supreme Court of Canada has also ruled that police duty to protect life warrants and justifies a forced entry into a dwelling to ascertain the health and safety of a 911 caller.

The terms of use would be strict, and documented and approved by a supervisor. Under Project Access, the police are granted access only to common areas. They still have to comply with laws for entry into any private dwellings.


Want Project Access for your building?

The VPD is proposing that property managers and/or strata corporations voluntarily provide access to the police during emergencies. The VPD would give the administrator of the building’s intercom panel a telephone number to be programmed into the directory under a secure code.

Upon arriving for an emergent call the police enter the code and the intercom panel dials E-Comm – the police call dispatch centre for fire and ambulance. The E-Comm operator authenticates that the person entering the code is a police officer on an emergency call and grants access to the public spaces of the building such as the lobby, elevator and floors. The solution is cost-effective, and can be implemented with a simple Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Vancouver Police Board and strata corporation.

For more info, contact Cst. Liz Samuel: Elizabeth.samuel@vpd.ca or 604-717-2777






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