Dozens of Girl Guides were arrested, handcuffed and taken to court to face a judge Saturday morning.
Auxiliary RCMP officers teamed up to wrangle the girls, all in the name of fun to celebrate Law Day in Kelowna.
Law Day is a national event hosted by the Canadian Bar Association , which aims to teach the public about the law and legal professions.
“We see it as an opportunity for the public to come in and learn about how the court works, have a bit of fun, check out the fire vehicles and the ambulance and the police vehicles, and learn about some of the resources that are available to them that are related to the justice system,” said Michael Sinclair, organizer of Law Day and lawyer at Doak Shirreff Lawyers in Kelowna.
The highlight of the event was when officers pretended to arrest four groups of Girl Guides for committing various offences, including spray painting a car, shoplifting and selling illegal substances.
The girls were handcuffed and marched into the Kelowna courthouse to take the stand in multiple mock trials.
“It gives the kids in the trial a chance to participate,” said Sinclair. “It's not very serious at all, it's not very much procedure, it's a lot of laughs.”
Inside the courthouse, several organizations had set up information booths, including Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Kelowna Women's Shelter and legal aid, providing information about the legal system and where to get help.
“A lot of people don't interface with the justice system really at all, and when they do . . . they're often completely foreign to the process, and often that need arises very quickly and they don't know where to go,” said Sinclair. “The hope is that by having a day like today, they can learn what resources are available, and if they have a need they'll know where to go, or at least where to start and they can be directed from there.”
Lawyers, sheriffs, police officers, firefighters and more were also on site providing career information to the children and anyone else who was interested.
“It's all about reaching out to the community, telling them what services are available, having some fun, and if they want to pursue this career path, this is how to do it,” said Sinclair.