Haney Place Mall has taken public security measures in its washroom facilities, adding blue lights to combat drug-related problems.
Blue lights have been installed in the downtown Maple Ridge mall’s bathrooms to deter intravenous drug use in the public space.
Sandra Kaiser, vice-president of SmartCentres, which owns the mall, said Haney Place mall works with various groups to ensure security, as do all if its shopping centres.
“With respect to Haney Place Mall, specifically, we have proactively been working with the Fraser Health Authority, the RCMP, neighbouring landlords and our security provider to ensure that we have the most appropriate policies in place to ensure the safety and comfort of our tenants, employees and shoppers,” said Kaiser.
Ridge Meadows RCMP said in a statement that it cannot comment on the blue lights at Haney Place Mall due to privacy issues.
“Police respond to all complaints regardless if they come from a private citizen or business. The RCMP is not in a position to speak about decisions made by a private company.”
Kenith Bursinger, Haney Place Mall assistant manager, confirmed that the mall had blue lights installed recently after customer complaints regarding the washrooms.
“The blue lights, in a way, help to hide veins. If you’re an IV drug-user, it’s that much more difficult.”
Bursinger said the complaints were from customers, so the mall took action to ensure everyone’s safety, including drug-users.
“If they can’t do it, they can’t die,” said Bursinger.
Kaiser added that in addition to installing blue lights in the public washrooms, the mall has also increased washroom checks and security at the employee entrance.