About 40 South Wellington residents cleared out a squatters’ camp south of Nanaimo on the weekend. RCMP stood by to maintain order and detained one person under the Mental Health Act. (Facebook photo)

Private citizens evict squatters from camp south of Nanaimo

RCMP ‘keep the peace,’ as neighbourhood residents arrive with trucks, excavators and dumpsters

Neighbours moved in to oust a squatters’ camp and its residents from a rural community south of Nanaimo on the weekend.

The action happened Saturday when about 40 South Wellington residents descended on a camp that sprawled on private property and Crown land along Hill Avenue that included a number of people living in a “run down” house and others who had set up camp in trailers and RVs.

According a social media post, which included photos and video footage of the cleanup work, the neighbourhood had been suffering for about two years with break-ins, thefts, assaults, mailboxes broken into and other crime in the area.

Earlier in the week a group of community members went to the camp and told the residents they had until Saturday to leave. At 10 a.m. Feb. 8, neighbours moved in with tools, dumpster bins and an excavator and started dismantling the camp.

“If you go down there now it’s still a mess,”said Greg Stolz, an area resident who participated in the cleanup. “We want to go back there on Saturday again with machinery and stuff. We want to put the land back the way it should be.”

The owner of the property allegedly gave her blessing to the cleanup and was there on Saturday.

Stolz said the work party arrived in a convoy of pickup trucks, which he believed caused some concern for the residents of the camp, but some who were living in RVs had left earlier in the week.

“They knew they didn’t have a choice,” he said.

READ ALSO: Cedar residents protest homeless encampment near Nanaimo River

“It was crazy, just crazy, the amount of [crime],” Stolz said. “I mean, our community mailboxes for us up here on Plecas [Road] and stuff. Just about every door on them was pried open and that happened three times in three weeks.”

Stolz said residents had been communicating via a community Block Watch social media group for about one year and were keeping tabs on the crime in the area and the people suspected of committing it, which proved to also be the communication platform used to organize Saturday’s action.

Stolz also said Nanaimo RCMP were on scene when the cleanup party arrived.

“Our position is such, that we were there to ensure the situation did not get out of control and that we’re to keep the peace,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.

O’Brien said one individual was detained by police under the Mental Health Act and taken to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital for assessment.

RELATED: New City of Nanaimo bylaw eases rules around camping in parks



photos@nanaimobulletin.com
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Homeless

Just Posted

Quadriplegic Saanich man seeks continuity of home care from Island Health

Island Health took over home care services in November

After more than 2 weeks, still no sign of Ethan Sampson of Duncan

28-year-old Cowichan Tribes man still missing after last being seen in the Cowichan River

Ladysmith A&W sends employees on all-inclusive vacations for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all expenses paid vacations

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5 million for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

Victoria police ask victims of human trafficking to come forward in light of recent arrests

Four people from Vancouver Island were arrested in Saskatchewan on Jan. 28

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

Original Victoria Clipper vessel sails one last time

Vessel sold to buyers in Gabon, Central Africa

T’Sou-ke First Nation mired in legal woes over gas station development

Claims and counterclaims leave sub-contractors unpaid

Five vehicles crash on old Island Highway in Nanaimo, one rolls over

No one injured in collision Wednesday near Norwell Drive and Jingle Pot Road

Two new hybrid BC Ferries ships christened with new names in Victoria ceremony

Island Aurora and Island Discovery will service Gulf Island and North Island routes

Lawyer says substitute teacher fought sexual urges for 30 years

Former Victoria badminton coach Harry Charles Sadd to be sentenced for sexual abuse of boys

Public hearing coming for Victoria police officer accused of sexual misconduct

Police watchdog hearing follows VPD investigation into allegations

B.C.’s soda drink tax will help kids lose weight, improve health, says doctor

Dr. Tom Warshawski says studies show sugary drinks contribute to obesity

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

Most Read