News Views: No-go zone

Ridge RCMP want to bring the red zone into force within a few weeks.

RCMP want council to approve a red zone, banning repeat criminals from entering an area covering most of downtown Maple Ridge.

The geographic boundaries would be from Brown Avenue to 50 metres south of Lougheed Highway, between 222nd to 226th streets.

The area includes city hall, public library and indoor pool, malls and restaurants, as well as homeless shelters.

People with criminal records would be barred based on police- or court-ordered conditions of release.

The concept already has approval from provincial and federal prosecutors, according to RCMP Insp. Bal Brach.

Mostly, he told council, the red zone would target drug dealers, as well as thieves with repeat drug possession charges.

Those banned could be arrested on site.

Police want to bring the red zone into force within a few weeks. They have already created a social chronic offender list to target repeat offenders.

Such a concept is already in use in Kamloops – in two areas – and Vernon.

Police admit, though, a red zone won’t solve everything.

It could just push crime outside its borders. A known drug dealer could make transactions just west of 222nd Street, as observed elsewhere with ‘no-go’ zones.

That’s because a red zone doesn’t address the root causes of crime, often addiction and mental health issues.

We just heard at the first Community Dialogue on Homelessness in Maple Ridge that responding to treating the outcomes of addiction and homelessness is a waste of money.

What we need to address is failures in the health care system to help those who are desperate and struggling.

As panelist Mike Pond said: “Until addiction is treated as a medical problem … we will not solve the homelessness problem.”

As much as we sympathize with downtown businesses, we can’t sweep aside undesirable behaviours and hope they just disappear.


– Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News


Just Posted

SPCA camps help kids unplug

‘Develop empathy skills.’

MacDuff’s Call: Pity the poor Maple Ridge motorist

Government to used to tapping into drivers’ wallets

Maple Ridge has resident excluded from Anita Place

Dwayne Martin has agreed to a timeline that will see him leave the encampment.

Letter: ‘More work to do on Highway 7’

‘But rock and ditches make it challenging.’

Looking Back: Searching for Pitt Lake gold

‘Facts and fantasy in the Legend of Slumach.’

Dog at Maple Ridge SPCA needs spinal surgery

Miniature pinscher has painful condition known as Wobbler Syndrome.

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Dinosaur statues from defunct Dinotown theme park stolen in Chilliwack

The dinosaur figures once graced the theme park but were destined for Chilliwack fundraiser

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Langley’s oldest and last strip bar shuts its doors

The Alder Inn, in operation since 1957, has reportedly been purchased

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Most Read