NEWS

Victor Overfield suspended from sea cadets over child luring charges

03/07/2015 08:27 EST | Updated 05/07/2015 05:59 EDT
Royal Canadian Sea Cadets volunteer Victor Overfield has been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation following the laying of child luring charges.

A spokesman for the Navy League Cadets said Overfield has also been directed to refrain from contacting other cadets.

Andrew Warden said volunteers are screened carefully and all cadets receive training to recognize and report harassment and abuse. He said a policy is in place to prevent one-on-one contact between volunteers and cadets.

"The Navy League continues to be vigilant and to protect the youth in our program," he said in an emailed statement.

"Whenever any suspect behaviour is noticed, it is immediately reported to the appropriate authorities and every effort is made to safeguard those participating in our program."

The Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces said it takes child luring charges against the former B.C. naval cadet program volunteer "very seriously."

Arrested in December

Overfield, 27, of North Vancouver was arrested last December and has been charged with one count of child luring and one count of sexual touching.

He volunteered with the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets in North Vancouver from 2007 to 2012 and with the Navy League Cadets in Vancouver from 2012 until his arrest.

The Royal Canadian Sea Cadets is a national youth program administered by the armed forces and funded by the Department of National Defence.

A spokesman for the national defence department says cadets' safety is the organization's "first priority," and all volunteers have a screening every five years that includes a police records check.

Maj. Doug Keirstead says sexual harassment and abuse are not tolerated and any allegations are immediately investigated by authorities and followed up with appropriate action.

Court documents indicate the charges relate to an incident alleged to have occurred on Nov. 1 of last year in Surrey,B.C. 

Overfield has been released from custody on conditions including no contact with his victim and any other young people, RCMP said.

Police said several other unspecified conditions intended to ensure the safety of the public are also in place.

The allegations against Overfield have not been proven in court.

MORE:cbcNews