I am writing to you in response to your article that our local community and residents of Richmond have started a petition to stop the proposal – “Stop the Safe Drug Consumption Site in Richmond, BC."
More than 2,000 signatures have been collected so far in just one day and the number keeps going up.
Many residents have put their comments and I would like to quote a few of them here.
Some residents are saying "no to drugs" and "people need help to quit, not to indulge in" while others are concerned that public safety will be compromised with a safe injection site.
Another resident living near Richmond Hospital posted she has heard "a concerning rise in theft and safety issues" within the community and says the incidents "appear to be linked to the challenges posed by drug addiction."
She is worried, as a mother, about the potential consequences associated with having a safe injection site in our neighbourhood.
As parents, we are very disappointed that our voices are not heard and there is no public consultation to let us participate in making the right decision.
Since the crime rate has been worsening for the past few years, many residents of Richmond have joined the committee meetings held in the City of Richmond to express their concerns constantly, but we are not getting any commitment from the council to monitor and put controls in place to improve the local community and its safety issue.
I do not understand why we can implement this policy without the support from residents and our basic ask is not yet met. This is very irresponsible.
I strongly believe we all want to help those in need but this policy is definitely the wrong direction and will only do more harm than good to both the residents and the drug users who need treatment rather than a safe place to do drugs.
We do not want to create another complicated problem in the first place so please stop this proposal and restore our community as Richmond is dense with population….there is more work and priorities that the community needs, such as housing and health care.