As revealed on social media, the ramshackle residence contained cots, bookshelves, backpacks, laundry hamper, cleaning products, a bucket for waste and bottles of urine, countless needles, blow torches, tools and a scooter and two bikes, among other items.
Concerning the viability of such encampments, Capt. Scott M. Wahl of San Diego Police Department’s Neighborhood Policing Division said: “It is illegal to lodge and/or camp in the beach or park area. We are familiar with this very remote and hard-to-get-to location. We have handled encampments there in the past, and need the public’s help in notifying us when they return. It is an area that is ‘off the beaten path.’ ”
Added Wahl: “We are currently in the process of getting that site cleaned up. Our beach enforcement team this summer will check the area routinely.”
“Until a case is brought to our office by law enforcement and specific charges are filed, we can can’t comment on potential penalties,” replied Hilary Nemchik, director of communications for the City Attorney, about prescribed punishment for such illegal habitation.
Asked if encampments like this were increasing, Wahl said, “I don’t know that I would say they are more common place. I used to work the beach team back in the early 2000s and we had encampments out in Ladera and along the cliffs back then as well.”
Responding to what can be done to prevent such encampments, Wahl said: “It is critical we have good communication with the community. We utilize the Get it Done application to receive complaints regarding encampments. It is the best method to notify us of the situation. We can make sure there is resolution to the problem.”
Wahl added police work closely with park rangers and environmental services to make sure trash is disposed of, and that abandoned property is properly abated.