Crime on the minds of Hope residents

Frustrations boil over at coffeehouse meeting with RCMP

It didn’t take long for a meeting between residents and the RCMP to boil over with frustration on Wednesday afternoon.

The police announced last week that they would hold a ‘Coffee with a Cop’ event at the Blue Moose Coffee House, and that residents could bring their concerns and learn more about local policing. The room set aside for the event quickly filled beyond capacity, and spilled out into the main area of the restaurant as residents vented their frustrations to various RCMP members.

Within just five minutes of the meeting starting, multiple conversations broke out and it became impossible for the audience to hear beyond the din. Some people left the meeting at that point, realizing the venue would not facilitate the type of meeting they were expecting.

The Standard attended the meeting in hopes of hearing various concerns from residents.

Teresa Walker, owner of Heaven N Earth Native Art, has a pressing concern. She has been the target of theft recently, as she says many people have. As the town gears up for the Chainsaw Carving Competition, she is worried the RCMP isn’t planning to provide a presence at the event. She will be bringing items from her shop to the park area for a First Nations exhibition on site.

“I’m expecting trouble,” she told The Standard. “I may have to sleep in my tent.”

She is also going to be hiring private security to ensure that there are always eyes on the park. She says she doesn’t have faith that the police will provide enough security, as the park has become a place for homeless and drug users to converge without RCMP intervention.

Another woman who didn’t provide her name said she is new to town, and is certain that the growth seen in many B.C. communities of open drug use and mental health issues, combined with homelessness, is because of a lack of resources available.

“There is a lack of facilities and it’s causing everyone to suffer,” she said.

Walker noted that several people have complained of having large tools, including power saws, stolen recently.

“They’re going into people’s houses,” she says.

Others raised concerns that because they are not seeing reports from the RCMP in this newspaper that the police are doing nothing about crime. RCMP media relations office Cpl. Mike Rail was in attendance and told the crowd it’s not up to the RCMP to report convictions to the public.

However, many RCMP detachments do provide their local newspaper with a list of criminal activity in an area on a regular basis, including crime trends and isolated incidents to help with their investigations. The Hope detachment has not provided that information to The Standard on a regular basis for more than five years.

A recent release of crime statistics show that crime rose in 2018 over 2017, while convictions for crimes lowered as part of a continuing, five-year trend.

READ MORE: Crime rates rising in Hope, according to new statistics

Have you been affected by crime in the area? Email news@hopestandard.com with your story.

 

Just Posted

Stellar Haze offers up ‘organic rock’ at Memorial Park

Trio hitting the stage for their first live performance this Friday

RCMP, ERT attending incident at Cheam First Nation

Few details are available about the incident, which saw more than a dozen police cars attend

Chiefs kick off exhibition pre-season stint at Hope Arena

Catch the Chilliwack Chiefs on the ice as they prepare for fresh season

Annual Peters family ball tournament draws a dozen teams to Hope ball diamonds

Recently upgraded field at the Schkam reserve the backdrop for this year’s event

Kent quarry opposition receives federal support

Green Party leader Elizabeth May wrote to the provincial government to oppose the quarry application

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

North Van music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

B.C. family stranded in Croatia desperate to come home

Funds being raised to bring back mom and two children

B.C. man on trial for daughters’ murders says an intruder broke in

Andrew Berry takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

‘Plenty of time for a deal’: Teachers’ union expects kids back in school on Sept. 3

BCTF says class size, composition at the heart of the issue

Most Read