LETTER: When it comes to Surrey’s addicts, don’t confuse complacency with safety

While addicts are people and have rights, so do all the other people in the area have the right to a neighbourhood that is clean, free of open drug dealing, with sidewalks and lit streets.

The Editor,

Re: “Now, wait just a minute – I love living in Whalley,” the Now-Leader, May 19.

If the letter writer thinks that Whalley and Gateway is so great, safe, clean and nice, perhaps they would like to leave a six-year-old girl to wander the streets alone there. I think when the RCMP found the little girl wandering around, the Ministry of Children and Family Development would be issuing an Order of Removal of Child for negligence of duty within days.

Each day I take a walk – a long walk I might add because it’s so pedestrian unfriendly – and I have made up a game called “count the addicts” that my fiance and I play to reduce the pain of living in this neighbourhood.

Our high score so far has been 18. Our lowest score has been nine – and I’m not even walking by the tent city. The safest place to be is near the biker clubhouse. I feel safer there than outside the police station.

Honestly, the police here could simply invest in lawn chairs, not cars, sit across the parking lot from the BC Liquor Store, and sit around that wasteland of a tent city and they’d probably have a lot to do without spending a penny on gasoline.

Complacency is not safety. Just because you’re “used to it” doesn’t make it OK. That’s like saying “I’m used to my house being broken into, it happens all the time, but they’re just people looking for money for drugs, they won’t hurt anyone, I’m just losing a few material items each time, no big deal.”

While addicts are people and have rights, so do all the other people in the area have the right to a neighbourhood that is clean, free of open drug dealing, with sidewalks and lit streets. People who aren’t engaged in criminal activity have rights too.

Try spending an hour in a fast food restaurant in north Whalley on King George Boulevard. Count the addicts coming in and causing problems. I bet you would run out of fingers and toes to count. A family member of mine is in law enforcement in another community and couldn’t even sit still – he knew a lot of the people coming and going from serving warrants and moving them around through correctional facilities.

And our police are nowhere to be found. I know police are just doing their jobs and are overstretched, but honestly they need to just take a walk around their own backyard.

Kris Taylor, Surrey

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