RCMP say essential workers enduring brunt of public frustration

Sunshine Coast RCMP say they’ve been getting reports of discourteous and potentially criminal behaviour targeted at service staff in the community.

In one recent incident, a frustrated customer spit on the plexiglass shield separating them from the cashier at a grocery store.

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In another, a customer at a Sechelt gas station started shouting and demanding the attendant come out to disinfect the pumps.

RCMP also said they’ve had several reports of people losing their temper at drive-through windows in Sechelt and Gibsons, throwing garbage and coffee at the cashiers, and in some cases making abusive remarks.

None of the incidents have led to criminal charges, although the person involved in the incident at the grocery store has now been banned by store management.

“Sunshine Coast RCMP ask that everyone be respectful and courteous to others as essential workers are working long hours to serve you,” the Sunshine Coast detachment said in a release. “Many of the negative behaviours reported could also result in criminal charges as these incidents are investigated by police.”

The release said local RCMP understand that “everyone is under a lot of stress and strain” during the COVID-19 pandemic and “there is concern about the economic and emotional toll this will take.”

The RCMP is asking people to “be supportive and respectful of everyone in our community and take a moment to thank those that are on the front line for us.”

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