Service calls to RCMP regarding the Cliff Avenue area have increased.

‘Leave policing to police’

RCMP are worried about vigilantes.

Ridge Meadows RCMP are telling Cliff Avenue residents who are fed up with the homeless campsite in front of their houses that they know they’re frustrated and angry, but don’t become vigilantes.

“Many of them are angry to the point where they’re actually starting to take matters into their own hands,” said Supt. Dave Fleugel.

He made the comments Monday on Global BC’s news show Unfiltered, which featured interviews with him and Maple Ridge Mayor Nicole Read.

“Leave the policing to the police,” Fleugel said.

Police are ready and able to respond to calls for service, which have increased in the area behind the Salvation Army’s Caring Place, this year compared to last.

“We’re coping with it. We can’t continue to cope with it forever. It has to come to a successful resolution,” Fleugel said.

RCMP civilian spokesman Dan Herbranson echoed Fleugel’s response Tuesday.

“We monitor Facebook and from time to time people indicate they may take the law into their own hands,” he said.

“If people plan on taking the law into their own hands, they’ll find themselves charged. When we’re enforcing the laws, we’re enforcing the laws for all people.”

Area resident Matthew Bosco said groups of people are walking or driving around the streets near the camp just to show that people are watching.

“I think most definitely they have taken things into their own hands. I don’t know if you’d call it vigilantism. If we go out and see a shopping buggy in the middle of the street, that looks like stolen goods in it, we will clean it out.”

But no one’s going to put their lives at risk or create a confrontation.

It’s just a matter of residents who live in the area being seen, Bosco said.

“Just keeping an eye on things,” he added.

“That’s all it takes is just for them to realize, we’re out there watching them.”

He tries to get out with others or by himself in his truck a couple times a week.

Bosco says police can’t be there all the time and residents just make the phone calls to RCMP, even though he knows that police can’t get to every call.

“Every day, with more and more of them moving here, it’s getting harder for the police …

Bosco said there are other camps around Maple Ridge and that there are more than 65 people living on Cliff Avenue.

“The problem is not the homeless. The problem is not the mentally ill,” he added.

“Everyone in Maple Ridge feels insecure because of the drug addicts that are going through the backyards, the driveways … leaving needles in the front yards where kids can step on them, public parks.

“Nobody feels safe anywhere. It’s not the homeless problem that’s making us feel uneasy.”

He acknowledges there’s a mix of homeless, mentally ill and drug addicts in the camp, but that there is more of the latter. And he said most homeless people don’t want to move to Cliff Avenue because it’s too dangerous.

Police have responded to at least three fights at the camp in the last two months.

One last week involved a baseball bat. Previous, a woman lost part of a finger.

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Crash on Haney bypass in Maple Ridge

Vehicle plunges down embankment

New rail underpass and overpass comes with costs

Pitt Meadows residents will see 0.75 per cent tax increase for rail crossings

Dewdney Trunk Road closed, vehicle crashes

Happened in early evening, injuries unknown

Court supports Maple Ridge role in tent city

Rejects Pivot application to allow people to return

City video updates Maple Ridge Leisure Centre re-do

Rusty support columns delaying project by a few months

Rents in most Canadian cities are unaffordable for lower-income earners: study

Roughly one-third of households, or 4.7 million, are renters

B.C. mom to go to Europe court in hopes of getting alleged abducted daughter back

Tasha Brown alleges her estranged wife abducted their daughter Kaydance Etchells in 2016

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

Scheer on Trump: It’s ‘offensive’ to question the family background of critics

Trump is being called a racist for saying that the four congresswomen should go back where they came from

Instagram expands Canadian pilot removing ‘like’ counts to more countries

Social media giant plans to roll out the test in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Japan, Italy and Ireland

Pamela Anderson adds star power to B.C. Green Party town hall

Celebrity attended Nanaimo meeting with representatives from U.S.-based environmental group

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

Most Read