Heightened security at Penticton Courthouse

Those attending Penticton Courthouse today found themselves subject to security screening.

PENTICTON - Following the discovery of a concealed shotgun at the courthouse in Penticton last week, security has been stepped up.

People attending the Penticton Law Courts today, July 22, found themselves subject to security screening. A portable walk-through metal detector was set up inside the courthouse foyer in a setup similar to airport screening. Two sheriffs, one with a portable metal detector, were screening anyone entering the building.

According to a source  who wishes to remain anonymous, the back door to the courthouse was also locked, to prevent entry. The heightened security measures were said to be a result of last week’s discovery of a shotgun found inside a toolbox that had been brought into the courthouse by a suspect who is still at large.

"The B.C. Sheriff Service implements temporary screening at various court locations from time to time, adding for security measures to remain effective, Sheriff Services does not disclose specifics of security planning or measures used,” Joanne Hanson, the acting assistant deputy minister of the Court Services Branch, says in an email.

In Kamloops armed sheriffs are in all courtrooms and there are regular bag checks. Sheriffs are present in all courtrooms of the Vernon courthouse while court is in session. During high profile trials of violent offenders it's not unusual to see metal detectors in the Kelowna courthouse.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at sarstad@infonews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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