According to a new plan from the RCMP, uniformed officers will be on the lookout for trouble at Wreck Beach almost every day starting the May long-weekend, up until Labour Day.
The plan was created in an effort to crack down on illegal drugs and alcohol being sold to beachgoers, while also establishing a police presence at the beach by erecting a tent where the public can go for assistance.
“There’s certainly some different tolerance levels down there,” says Sergeant Drew Grainger of the RCMP’s UBC branch in an interview with the Daily Xtra. “The way we want to approach it this year is to reduce those tolerances. Our overall objective is to make sure everyone is safe and secure.”
However, it won’t be public drinkers at the beach that the RCMP targets – as long as they stay out of trouble.
Instead, it will be people like Alana Thomson that get targeted by the RCMP. Thomson was arrested last August for openly selling homemade alcoholic freezies at Wreck Beach and Grainger says it’s his goal to go after others like her this year.
Though there is concern that the continued presence of RCMP will disturb the delicate balance of peace at Wreck Beach, Grainger says the RCMP respects the beach’s community of nudists and will not cause any trouble.
But Judy Williams, chair of the Wreck Beach Preservation Society, believes that problems like voyeurism are not the real issues that need to be dealt with.
“Drinking is not the problem but ill-advised, heavy-handed policing that refuses to address the serious issues of human and wildlife safety from jet skis and muscle boats [is].”
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