Crime of the Week: The operation of motor vehicles in watercourses
Crime Stoppers and the Department of Public Safety are asking for your help in resolving an on-going problem of people trespassing and damaging our watercourses with their motorized vehicles.
A watercourse is any body of water that includes the bed, banks, sides and shoreline of any river, creek, stream, spring, brook, lake, pond, reservoir or canal. It is an offence under the Trespass Act of New Brunswick to operate motorized vehicles, including vehicles designed for off-roading, in any watercourse. Anyone convicted of this offence could be fined anywhere between $240 and $5,200 for the first offence, and they could have their motorized vehicle seized. Also, it is illegal to operate motorized vehicles in environmentally sensitive areas such as wetlands and on sand dunes.
Operating vehicles in and around watercourses damages these valuable resources by causing the banks to erode faster than they should. This activity also affects fish spawning areas by contributing to the siltation of the watercourse, meaning they can’t get the oxygen they need to survive.
Motorized vehicles often leak dangerous substances and chemicals into the watercourse. One small drop of oil or gas can pollute hundreds of gallons of water.
We all have a responsibility in protecting New Brunswick’s natural resources, including its water.
If you have any information on this illegal activity and wish to remain anonymous, please contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), texting TIP212 + your message to ‘CRIMES’ (274637), or by Secure Web Tips at www.crimenb.ca. Crime Stoppers will pay up to $2,000 for information leading to an arrest.