A 21-year-old Trail man who works at the Beaver Valley Arena in Fruitvale is expected to be charged after a cell phone set to record video footage was discovered inside the women’s change room.
RCMP say they responded to a complaint Wednesday afternoon. Girls preparing for a hockey practice noticed the phone and brought it to the attention of a parent, who seized it and turned it over to police.
Police arrested the suspect who was later released on conditions including not going to the arena, not possessing any device capable of recording images, and not going anywhere where people under 18 might be. The man’s name hasn’t been released.
RCMP say they will recommend the man be charged with one count of voyeurism. He’s expected to make his first court appearance on Feb. 23 in Rossland.
Police don’t believe the phone recorded any compromising images, but they are double checking. They are also investigating whether it was an isolated incident.
“I would like to commend the girls for their actions and notifying a parent immediately,” RCMP Sgt. Mike Wicentowich said in a news release, promising a “thorough investigation.”
“Trail RCMP is in contact with the arena management and will work with them so measures can be put in place to help prevent this from occurring again.”
Wicentowich says surreptitious video recording is an issue among some groups of youth, but not common in this way. He notes many schools and other organizations have strict rules about bringing recording devices into sensitive locations.
He recommends any group that deals with youth have strong policies in place and that they seek criminal record checks for employees.
The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, which runs the Beaver Valley Arena, says the suspect has been suspended.
They called the incident a “first of its kind” for the RDKB.
“Public welfare and safety is at the heart of everything we do here at the RDKB and we are taking these disturbing allegations extremely seriously,” chief administrator Mark Andison. said in a news release.
“RDKB management and staff are working very closely with the RCMP as they carry out their investigation and as a precaution, will be checking all arena restrooms and locker rooms to ensure the ongoing safety of patrons and facility users.
“We’re shocked, angry and saddened that this troubling incident has taken place in our community and that trust has been breached but we will do everything in our power to support the investigation, help bring it to a swift conclusion and act on any lessons learnt.”
The RDKB said it has a “rigorous” criminal records check policy. All employees who work with children and vulnerable individuals, or who have access to the RDKB’s bank accounts are required to undergo a check.