Submitted. The land along Gladys Avenue where camps have been set up for the past number of months is both public and private land. The Abbotsford Police Department (APD) has been advised that the private property owner (BC Hydro) whose lands where the camps to the South are located have safety concerns in relation to its property and is advising those using the property to vacate.
Cleaning up after the chicken manure incident. Bas Stevens Photo.
On July 14th, BC Hydro posted a number of “No Trespassing” signs and hand-delivered notices advising campers that they were on private property and requested they vacate and remove all belongings. Those camped on the property will have until 9:00 am on July 31, 2014 to leave.
The APD has received a number of complaints about the camps set up in the area. The APD has also identified a variety of public safety concerns including, weapons, assaults, drug trafficking, and property crime. The APD has been taking enforcement action where it is able to respond to this, however, it is clear that this camp site is creating ongoing issues in the community.
For the past few months, people and agencies, including the Salvation Army, have been working diligently to provide viable and stable housing options for the people in this camp. People in this camp are now being provided the opportunity to obtain housing through rental supplements as a result of assistance of BC Housing, and other agencies.
Through July, the APD will continue to work to reduce safety risks and criminality at this site and will be encouraging the occupants of the affected Gladys Avenue camps to comply with this legal request by the private property owner.