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CRD park patrols on the increase for summer

Visitors to the West Shore's regional parks will be seeing a little more black and blue through the summer.

The Capital Regional District and West Shore RCMP are co-operating on a joint program increasing enforcement at Thetis Lake, Matheson Lake and Witty's Lagoon. The goal for the increased presence is to curb bylaw violations and alcohol use in regional parks, especially at the popular beaches during peak times of year.

"We are working towards promoting the positive use of the parks, deterring alcohol and drug use in the parks, making sure people are being safe around water and abiding by the rules of the park," said West Shore RCMP Cpl. Kathy Rochlitz. "(It is) to ensure everyone has an enjoyable experience and it's a positive environment to be in."

This year marks the fourth summer for the partnership, which sees the RCMP and CRD share information and run additional mountain bike, foot and boat patrols. Rochlitz said it's a way to engage the public, inform with education and enforce when needed. She added that

An example of the program making a positive contribution came when officers on patrol found a man in a park who had suffered a broken leg and helped him to safety.

"It is a good way to work together for a common goal and an opportunity for us to be visible in the parks," she said. "We want people go into the park to go in for the right reasons and make sure their activity is not infringing on another person's activity. Those are the biggest keys, that everyone is enjoying it and enjoying it safely."

alim@vicnews.com

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