Penticton group known as 'The Regulators' is standing down - InfoNews

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Penticton group known as 'The Regulators' is standing down

The Penticton group known as The Regulators is taking a step back from their patrols following the city's announcement last week it was undertaking a policy of zero tolerance towards illegal behaviour in the city, following the break up of a meth party in an Okanagan Lake Park washroom pictured in this submitted photo.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED
July 09, 2018 - 6:30 PM

PENTICTON - A group of local citizens concerned about illicit drug use in Penticton is stepping back following the city’s announcement of a crackdown on illegal activities in the city.

Peter Docherty with The Regulators says the members conducted three days of patrols that began on the evening of June 29, but have since decided not to do any more for now.

“With everybody’s assumption of us being vigilantes, we decided to step out of the limelight and see what the city and police are going to do,” Docherty says.

The group used tactics such as spraying water to wet the surfaces in places those using drugs would congregate, like the Penticton United Church on Main Street and a nearby school.

"It didn’t seem like the city or the RCMP wanted to do anything about it," he says. “People call us vigilantes, but we’re dealing with this type of behaviour on a day-to-day basis. It seems like the ball has been dropped on multiple levels."

Late last week, Reverend Laura Turnbull with the United Church said they were going to post no trespassing signs on church property giving bylaw and RCMP the authority to move people along. The city also announced last week it was taking a zero tolerance approach to illegal activity after breaking up a meth party in one of the city’s public washrooms.

Penticton RCMP detachment commander Supt. Ted De Jager says he is aware of the The Regulators group. He says in an emailed statement the group's tactics were ineffective in addressing the root causes of homelessness and addiction, and would not solve the issue.

He says vigilante groups like The Regulators work at odds with efforts to solve social issues in the community.

“We welcome extra eyes and ears on the street in programs such as Block Watch and Citizens on Patrol. I would encourage this group to join up with us to be a part of the solution as opposed to building walls against the very people we are trying to help,” De Jager says.

Docherty says they are “just concerned parents.” He says the name The Regulators came about as a joke, as did some T-shirts the group was seen wearing.

“It’s hard for us to do what we’re doing with social media attention on us. People think they know us, but they don’t,” Docherty says. He hopes the city lives up to the promises its made about zero tolerance toward illegal activities in the city.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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