Police launched a Trespass Prevention Pilot Program at the end of April aimed at commercial properties.

Jay-D Haughton, public information and strategic communication manager with the Moose Jaw Police Service (MJPS), wants residential owners and occupiers to know that they have rights when it comes to trespassers, too.  

“Within the Trespass to Property Act, it states that entry in or on a premises without the consent of the occupier of the premises is prohibited without any notice,” explained Haughton. 

“That is in regard to a lawn, a garden, or a fenced backyard.” 

Haughton added that full details can be found in the Trespass to Property Act.  

Individuals who trespass at residential properties could be arrested and fined $580 under the Act, with additional charges possible under the Criminal Code of Canada depending on any criminal activities occurring during the trespassing.  

Haughton explained why the Trespass Prevention Program is not open to residential property owners. “[It’s] for after-hours trespassing occurrences on private commercial properties when the building is vacant or closed.” 

“With private residential properties, there’s no after hours – there's no closing time. It would be difficult for police to determine who is and isn’t supposed to be on or in the property at all hours of the day,” Haughton added.  

Under the program, police act as the occupier’s representative for commercial property owners/occupiers who have signed up. The pilot program is currently ongoing in downtown Moose Jaw, with the intent to eventually extend to commercial properties throughout the city.  

In the most recent statistical extract for May 2024, there was no change in year-to-date break ins from 2023, with 30 offences recorded so far this year. 

Break-ins at residences were down 23.5 percent compared to last year, with 39 recorded by the end of May 2024.  

Anyone with questions regarding trespassing can reach out to the Moose Jaw Police Service’s non-emergency line at 306-694-7600.  

Information on the Trespass Prevention Program for commercial properties can be found on the Moose Jaw Police Service’s website here.