Contents of the harm reduction kits including needles and containers for disposing of them. Submitted photo

Contents of the harm reduction kits including needles and containers for disposing of them. Submitted photo

South Okanagan ‘Regulators’ mount up to clean up the streets

A group of concerned Penticton citizens want to clean up the downtown of drug users

A group of concerned Penticton citizens, going by the name Penticton Regulators, wants to take back and clean up the streets from drug users in the downtown core.

Peter Docherty said it is time the people of Penticton take a stand and say “no, we don’t accept your addiction as a city problem.”

Related: Sharps disposal containers set to go up around Penticton

“If you are using at a private church property or a public place, it is illegal and we will ask you to leave. And if not, then local police and bylaw will be called. We want a zero tolerance attitude to be used and these people to be removed,” he said, speaking on behalf of the Penticton Regulators who most recently were focusing their efforts outside the Penticton United Church area.

The group has used tactics such as dumping water over the places where alleged drug users have been congregating in the hopes that it makes them uncomfortable to sit, so they move elsewhere. He denies any suggestion about the Penticton Regulators being a vigilante-style group.

“No, more concerned citizens or parents. I’ve already been told what we’re doing is wrong but if caring about our beautiful city is wrong we’ve already lost. I just want people to be able to walk our streets and not be scared or subjected to somebody else’s problems or addictions if they are not willing to take the help that is available to them,” said Docherty.

A recovering addict himself, Docherty said he has been clean and sober for four years and fought drug addiction for 25 years before he could beat it.

“I didn’t throw it in society’s face and figure I should get special treatment. I raised a family and held a full-time job. I handled a double life with drugs, but with the way society has us accepting the addiction we have already allowed the drug to win. No more kid gloves. Let these people be held accountable for their own addictions,” he said.

Related: Shining a light on Penticton crime

The patrol group already has 14 members, and Docherty said more people are approaching them on how they can get involved. He said while they are still in the early days of organizing, they plan on setting up a Facebook group for people to connect.

More on this story to come.


Kristi Patton | Editor

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