RCMP call North Shore shooting "a symptom of renting to criminals"

By James Peters
October 25, 2017 - 11:43am

KAMLOOPS — Kamloops RCMP say some of the onus for preventing problem properties like a North Shore home in the news this week should be placed on landlords.

Two people were shot at 217 Nelson Avenue on Monday.

Investigators have yet to determine if the incident was drug- or gang-related, but agree the home has been on their radar for more than a year.

Cpl. Jodi Shelkie says the home is on the detachment's 'CompStat' list, meaning Mounties and staff come up with an enforcement and management strategy for the property weekly.

But Shelkie adds the homeowner is part of the problem.

"The RCMP has targeted this house for criminality, but enforcement doesn't really help when the landlord simply rents again to a new group of individuals similar to the last ones," said Shelkie.

"This shooting is a symptom of renting to criminals."

Shelkie says the homeowner can't claim ignorance, as this is not the first set of shady tenants to whom he has rented the home.

"Previous to this group of people renting (at 217 Nelson), there was a different group. Different sections in the RCMP worked together and had that group moved out. But then the homeowner rented again who have criminal ties," said Shelkie.

"We've done outreach with the owner regarding how to choose good renters and so on, but it hasn't resulted in better tenants. So that's something that we want to tell homeowners, if they're renting a residence, please consider who you're renting to."

Shelkie notes the RCMP has limited powers of search and arrest in cases of a problem property, and its resources don't allow the detachment to put this home and others like it on constant surveillance.

She advises neighbours of criminal properties to made a diary of ongoing suspicious activity, and most importantly, be willing and prepared to appear as a witness in court.

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