“People don’t deserve to be bullied and harassed” Speaking Against Private Security in the DTES

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Three CCAP volunteers spoke out at a news conference organized by Pivot Legal Society to release their new card:  Private Security Guards and Your Rights.

The news conference was held on April 17 in front of the Patricia Hotel near Dunlevy and E. Hastings.  The Hotel site was chosen because security guards have harassed local residents near there.

Lu Lu Bordeaux with her rights card

Lu Lu Bordeaux with her rights card

Lulu Bordeaux, a sex trade worker and outreach worker told the media that private security guards “mock me and take my picture.”  She said once they “pulled up on the sidewalk” beside her. Another time they forced her into an alley.  “I had to duke it out with a guy to get free.”

“It would be nice to have someone to protect me.  People in this neighbourhood don’t deserve to be bullied and harassed,” said Lulu.

Fraser Stuart, another CCAP volunteer who lives in an SRO on Jackson St. said, “harassment from security guards is constant.”  He said he was told to “move along” when he pedaled up on his bike and took out his keys to get in the building.  Stuart said some residents are approached by security guards “when they go outside the building to smoke.”  “I’m really glad Pivot has [released the card},” said Stuart.

“Women fear security guards and don’t go to them when they need help,” said Jen Allen, an outreach worker for 10 years. Pivot lawyer Doug King said the purpose of the rights card is to let people know what their rights are.  “If people have interaction with a guard, they can show them the card.”  King said he hopes the government will get more complaints about private security guards because of the card.

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The card says private security guards cannot:

  • Issue tickets
  • Demand that you move off public property
  • Ban you from a neighbourhood, public street or park
  • Take or destroy your belongings
  • Press criminal charges.

The card says private security guards must be licensed and carry ID and present it if someone asks them for it.

Doug King, Pivot Legal Society
Doug King, Pivot Legal Society

CCAP volunteers have met with the Strathcona Business Improvement Association which hires CSC in the Strathcona and Oppenheimer areas and with Mission Possible, a social enterprise that hires local outreach workers to do patrols.  The CCAP volunteers want the BIA to hire Mission Possible instead of CSC.

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