A tent erected in the wooded area at the back of Fraser River Heritage Park has at least one Mission man concerned. He says the area is unsafe due to used needles and wants the district to take action.

Man raises concerns about homeless tent at park

According to the Mission man, the tent contains used needles, bear spray and other dangerous items.

A tent containing drug paraphernalia has a Mission man concerned about public safety.

He’s even more concerned about what he sees as a lack of action by the district.

The man, who asked not to be identified, said he and his neighbours have known about the tent for some time. It is located in the wooded area at the back end of Fraser River Heritage Park, close to Fifth Avenue.

It allegedly belongs to a homeless woman.

According to the complainant, the tent contains used needles, bear spray and other dangerous items.

He called the district on Monday morning to clean up the site.

“They came out to look at it, but left it there.”

Other problems have occurred in the area, which he believes are associated with the homeless.

“My neighbours’ entire patio set was stolen and dragged into a little ravine behind the cemetery.”

He and some neighbours located the stolen furniture and dragged it back to the owner. Other items have gone missing and cars are being broken into.

Still, his prime worry is the lack of cleanup.

“My main concern is the kids who play around here. They (district) have to make the area safe. There are needles all over the place. This is ridiculous.”

Mike Younie, deputy chief administrative officer for the district, confirmed that staff did go out to the site, but did not find any needles lying around the area.

“Apparently, the needles are all in the tent,” he said.

Younie said if there were needles on the ground, then staff would have picked them up. Because they are inside the tent, a different approach is being taken. The RCMP’s mental health constable has been notified and attempts are being made to contact the homeless individual.

“If we made contact with the person, we would give them the right containers to pick them (needles) up or we’d get their permission. You really need their permission to go in their tent. We can’t just be raiding people’s property. That’s gotten governments in trouble in the past. So we have to be cautious and aware of their rights.”

While he believes the safety concerns are valid, Younie said it’s a tricky situation.

“The recent court case in Abbotsford has said you can’t just go in and kick people out of parks.”