Open season on residents and local businesses in Duncan

The police and bylaw people seem powerless to do anything to stop this

Open season on residents and local businesses

Well a lot has been said about the conditions on the streets around Warmland House. People living on Lewis Street live in harm’s way with the abundance of needles and drug paraphernalia left everywhere. Garbage is everywhere and camping in tents, lean-tos and in vans and cars is increasing.

The police and bylaw people seem powerless to do anything to stop this and this Warmland administration shows no responsibility towards the community. There are bylaws in North Cowichan against camping on city property, also parking bylaws.

Bylaw officers come by and watch a man running a bicycle repair business out of the back of his truck putting street people’s spare parts from stolen bikes on their bikes and say nothing even when complaints have been lodged about this. The bylaw officers laugh and joke with this man, then leave and the police do absolutely nothing even though one officer did acknowledge the rising numbers of reported stolen bikes in the area.

Drugs are easily available and seeing people shooting up is now commonplace. They are getting bolder and now residents find these drugged out people lying beside their buildings or in the street and absolutely nothing is done. If they are chased away they are like pigeons and return immediately. It takes crime to get money for drugs and where are our police? We see nothing saying they are catching the drug dealers or the people who buy stolen goods. These highly paid police maybe should follow the addicts, for they sure find the dealers.

Tax dollars squandered on illegal centres for these addicts to go and shoot up should be closed for it ignores the laws in place in the criminal code — it is illegal to assist anyone committing a crime and if it is a crime to possess drugs then giving them the means to use them is facilitating a crime or aiding and abetting a crime, both in the criminal code. Using our hard earned tax dollars to try and ignore the fact that the previous provincial government closed mental health centres and the current provincial government is blind and deaf to this matter is like throwing gas on the fire.

Is this what our society has come to, we ignore these occurrences for we feel we are yelling in the wind to deaf ears? There is a restaurant in the building next to this Warmland residence and they have just had to erect a steel fence with gates and locks around their garbage bins in their own parking lot. The people there are constantly cleaning up the lot of garbage, old clothes and stuff left by these street people. They have had wooden crates erected in their lot and people sleeping in them refusing to leave. Who would go to a restaurant and leave their vehicle in the lot with these people around, let alone eat there with the garbage on the street and sidewalk. The health club in the adjoining building left and now the rental people have street people on their sidewalks and in their parking areas — who is going to rent this space with this going on?

Across the street the McDonald’s restaurant is kept clean of these people by police so what does that tell you — if you’re a big corporation guess you get what everyone believes is what taxes provide.

It is a sad day when this kind of reality is ignored, especially when local residents predicted this would happen before the North Cowichan council over-rode their objections and approved this building.

As a community we need more publicity about this situation, we need the council to enforce existing laws and get the well paid police to do what we pay for. Remember there is always some group petitioning council to build more of these centres and the next one could be in your neighbourhood.

Larry Woodruff

North Cowichan

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