Two separate instances of inappropriate touching at the Cowichan Aquatic Centre have staff, police and pool patrons on high alert.
Tuesday evening, the North Cowichan/ Duncan RCMP announced they were early into their investigation of the alleged offenses, but because of the public safety concern, they opted to brief the community sooner in the process, as opposed to later.
“It’s still early and so there’s not a lot regarding the investigation,” detachment spokesman Cpl. Jon Stuart said Wednesday. “That’s why we don’t have much detail.”
Police do say that both instances of alleged inappropriate touching occurred at the James Street facility on Saturday, Feb. 2.
“Around 2 p.m., two young girls were inappropriately touched by an unknown male while playing in the pool,” Stuart said. “At about 5:45 p.m. on the same day, an unknown male inappropriately touched two [different] young girls while they were swimming in the pool.”
Police are still trying to determine whether the two reports are connected.
“The RCMP are investigating both incidents, and have spoken to several witnesses,” Stuart noted.
It is hoped that the information police have provided will “raise the awareness of people, and re-affirm the need for parents to be diligent in watching their children,” Stuart said.
Pool staff and North Cowichan Mayor Jon Lefebure have been briefed and they are working closely with the police to ensure the safety of all patrons of the complex.
“It’s unique in our history at the pool. I haven’t heard of any other incidents like this and we’re very concerned about it,” Lefebure said Wednesday morning. “Our first priority is the safety of our citizens using the pool, especially the young ones. It is a big concern and we’ve talked to staff about our procedures and we have them more alert and concerned than ever.”
The pool’s surveillance tapes are being examined by police.
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