Vandalism, graffiti at Kamloops substance use location not targeted: Interior Health | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vandalism, graffiti at Kamloops substance use location not targeted: Interior Health

An Interior Health facility at 235 Lansdowne Street in Kamloops was the target of graffiti and a smashed window this weekend.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Ray Dhaliwal

The site of a future safe consumption site in Kamloops was vandalized this past weekend, but Interior Health doesn't believe it was targeted.

Graffiti on the walls of the mental health and substance use building on Lansdowne Street in downtown Kamloops read, "die goof," while a door had its window smashed with a rock.

"Unfortunately, the (mental health and substance use) office was one of a number of businesses and buildings in Kamloops that has been the subject of graffiti and vandalism," an Interior Health spokesperson said in an emailed statement, adding that the property damage was "not specific" to the mental health support facility.

The graffiti has been nearly all cleaned up, with some remnants of the pink paint remaining, and the broken window is covered with plywood.

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Ray Dhaliwal, owner of Ray's Lock and Key across the street from the building, said he noticed the vandalism on Sunday night, April 24.

Upon news of the chosen downtown location for the safe consumption site, Dhaliwal said he is hopeful for the success of the program, where Interior Health plans to centralize several programs for people who need support with mental health issues or addictions.

Dhaliwal told Tuesday that he remains hopeful for the program, but that he will increase security measures at his building like adding security cameras.

In order to keep its own employees safe, Interior Health said it has safety protocols in place for any "aggressive actions" on site and, like all health sites, there are panic alarms throughout. The safe consumption site is not yet open, but the building is a locked facility with card control access, an Interior Health spokesperson said, adding RCMP are contacted if needed in certain circumstances.

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Kamloops RCMP spokesperson Const. Crystal Evelyn told that police are aware of the incident and remind the public to contact police if they witness vandalism.

She said even if evidence of property damage is found the next day, reports may not result in a charge, but it helps the detachment track where crime is happening in the city.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 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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