The Duncan/North Cowichan RCMP has confirmed multiple sex assaults over a two-week period outside Cowichan Dsitrict Hospital.
And they suspect there may have been more.
A memo issued by Island Health on Nov. 18 states no one is to walk alone on the grounds of Cowichan District Hospital — not even from their car to the front door — in the wake of an unspecified number of sexual assault reports.
North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP responded Thursday evening, saying they would like the public to help identifying a suspect, after assaults were reported to have happened between Nov. 2 and Nov. 17.
The detachment stated the RCMP was notified of the assaults on Nov. 17, and believe there are a number of victims who have not come forward.
“The RCMP are hoping to speak to anyone who has information on these alleged assaults, or who is a victim who has yet to come forward,” said Cpl. Chris Manseau, Divisional Media relations officer for the BC RCMP. “It has been circulated that there are multiple victims who haven’t yet spoken to police. They may not know that their evidence could be crucial in identifying a suspect.”
The RCMP are increasing patrols of the property by uniformed officers in marked patrol cars, and anyone who feels unsafe is should speak to one of these members for help.
Island Health sent a memo to all of their staff urging caution when outside the hospital doors. The memo doesn’t get into the specifics of the alleged assaults or state how many have taken place, but advises staff and the public that the reports are being investigated by the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment in conjunction with the hospital’s Protection Services personnel and other Island Health staff.
It said additional protection services staff have been called in to support enhanced patrols of the hospital property.
“At this time, staff and the public should not be unaccompanied outside the building for any reason,” the memo said.
“When you arrive at work, remain in your vehicle and call [the hospital] for the auto-attendant, then [call] protection services dispatch to request an escort.”
The memo said staff who use public transit will be offered taxi services at the main door to the hospital.
It said staff and visitors can expect to see signs posted at exits and entrances in the hospital advising of the safety measures.
“Visitors will also be instructed to contact protection services to be escorted to the hospital from their vehicle,” the memo said.
If you have information about these alleged assaults or other similar incidents at Cowichan District Hospital, dial 911 or contact North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP at 250-748-5522.
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