I'm very sad to hear this. I've bumped an old e-mail thread I had with the Office of the Premier, the Justice Minister and the Environment Minister with this new information. The squeaky wheel gets the grease so I encourage everyone else to also send in their concerns. The lack of action is becoming very frustrating. The truth is that we will never have as many people talking about this issue as there are people who want to chime in on passing in the left lane or yoga on the bridge so we face an uphill battle.
I've also written the Squamish Chamber of Commerce. They arguably have the most at stake once people start to avoid Squamish due to the complete lawlessness at the trailheads.
Here is my letter:
"I'm one of many hikers who are getting frustrated at the extreme levels of crime in the parking lots for Garibaldi Provincial Park and other trailheads in the Squamish area.
I think that this is a pivotal time for the Squamish Chamber of Commerce. If Squamish wants to be recognized as a world-class tourism destination, it's critical that this problem is solved before a negative online reputation is established. Already it's not uncommon to read negative online experiences about crime at trailheads in Squamish and at some point in the future, it will probably reach a tipping point. Once the reputation is established, it is very difficult to turn it around.
Nothing is changing. If anything, it is getting worse. Here is a small sample from the past few years.
"Whistler RCMP have received 24 reports of theft from vehicles since April 1"
"25 car owners had an unpleasant surprise after leaving their vehicles in a parking lot of a popular hiking area near Squamish."
"Once we came back to the parking lot on Sunday noon, we found our car broken into with the passenger window smashed. It turned out that 20 other cars were also broken into on the same day"
The solution is simple. Bait car/bait property programs have proven to be effective but are not being used in this area. Cameras could be installed. Sting operations or random patrols could be implemented. All it will take is someone in government making the decision to act.
The issue is well known and well understood by the government and has been covered in the media. We've tried writing letters but letters from individuals fall on deaf ears.
I'd like to suggest that this would be an appropriate issue for the Chamber of Commerce to take on with local government. Your members have a lot at stake. Every type of business from a restaurant to a hotel to guides will suffer if Squamish becomes better known for crime than its natural beauty and recreation opportunities."