Police tape surrounded Louis Leather Shop Aug. 15. (THE NEWS/files)

NEWS Views: Let’s talk

You can’t pick and choose the news.

Ridge Meadows RCMP are becoming evermore tight-lipped, and the public is wondering why.

Ridge Meadows RCMP won’t release any information about a driver who died in a crash near the Pitt Ridge Bridge last week, citing privacy laws.

We know who, but out of respect for the family we won’t identify that person. But it has long been standard to release basic information about the deceased – gender, age.

The RCMP also wouldn’t say why they put up yellow tape around a motorcycle wear shop in downtown Maple Ridge and remained on scene for two days last week.

They have not commented on why they cordoned off a home on Advent Road near Hoffman Park in Pitt Meadows on Sunday.

Furthermore, Ridge RCMP have released few details about a shooting near 207th Street two weeks ago. How is the victim? Who is he? Have there been any arrests?

Withholding information that could compromise an investigation is understandable.

And we understand privacy laws prevent police from commenting on some files.

If so, say that.

Not saying anything only leads to speculation and assumption.

It is the media’s role to corroborate reports, to inform the public, to quell the spreading of inaccuracies.

Was there a dead body by Hoffmann Park? That’s what was written on Facebook.

And what are people left to think about the motorcycle wear shop? Many have asked what was going on.

One resident wrote on social media that six police cars surrounded the building at 4 a.m. and asked the occupants, over a speaker – and with sirens going on and off – to come out with their hands up.

“What are they hiding,” asked another.

Just like in Pitt Meadows, something happened.

And that’s just it.

You can’t pick and choose the news.

The public wants information, especially if it pertains to personal safety, and it’s the media’s role to work with agencies such as the RCMP to provide it, accurately.

But as long as RCMP continue to withhold information, with good reason or not, without explanation, the perception they try to police will be that nothing is being done.

When it comes to communication, it is difficult to disagree with that.

Let’s talk about that.

– Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News

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