The RCMP in Campbell River is appealing to young people in the community to refrain from attempting to provoke fights on the street with homeless addicts.
In a Facebook post on the weekend, Constable Maury Tyre called the actions of a group of youths the “saddest of situations, a group of privileged youth taking on some of our towns least privileged and hoping to provoke a street war.”
Several teens and young adults were apprehended as officers responded to reports of attempts to provoke altercations with unsheltered people in the downtown.
Tyre says many of those involved were highly intoxicated, which he describes as an “extreme recipe for disaster, one that could very well end tragically with someone’s death.”
He also says the teenagers were there for one reason only because none of them were 19 and, as he explains it, “it was not as if they had ventured into the downtown core late at night to enjoy the night life and something bad happened.
Constable Tyre says in recent weeks unsheltered people have been chased and eggs thrown at them as well as rocks.
He says “police are not blind to the frustration that is being caused by the crime that accompanies homeless-addiction issues, but clearly this type of vigilante justice is not an effective way to deal with the community’s social ills and simply adds to them.”
Tyre warned that such behaviour encourages them to arm themselves and that could make the situation infinitely more dangerous.
The police are asking anyone with information that might help their investigation to contact the RCMP non-emergency number.