The Fuller Lake Arena parking lot is one of the temporary sites housing the homeless. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Police receive minimal calls to homeless tenting sites

Officer attributes it to security and changed behaviour from COVID

There’s been a minimal number of complaints to police since temporary homeless tenting sites sprung up in May at the Fuller Lake Arena parking lot and three locations in the Duncan area, according to a North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP officer.

Sgt. Trevor Busch indicated the detachment has received fewer than 10 calls pertaining to the Fuller Lake Arena site, specifically.

“The calls were not out of the ordinary or beyond the scope of what police expect to deal with on a regular basis, and included suspicious occurrences, mischief and property offences.

Related: Resident concerns abundant over Fuller Lake Arena parking lot homeless tent site

“Overall, the establishment of the new temporary tenting sites for people who are homeless or precariously housed has not had a significant impact on policing in the area covered by the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP, in terms of increasing or decreasing call volume, or increasing or decreasing the severity of calls or the number of frontline officers required to attend.”

Busch added: “This may be in part due to the sites having arrangements for private security in place to enforce rules and restrictions for people using the resources offered at the temporary tenting sites or changes in behaviour related to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency.”

The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP is encouraging those who need housing to seek out the resources offered in the area and expressed its appreciation for the efforts of those who have worked to ensure those resources are available.

People with concerns about property crime, drug use or other issues can contact North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP at 250-748-5522 to make a report or contact 911 in an emergency.

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