Threatening to take a person's possessions is one of the easiest ways
to get someone to move along. There is a very old term called
'chattel' which refers to any possessions that are not attached to the
person. These 'chattels' can apparently include a pack, a tarp, a
blanket, food, and other things that are very necessary for living
According to the definition, the groceries of a person who is waiting
for the bus is also 'chattel', as is the knapsack of anyone who is
sitting in the park or at the beach. However, the bylaw is not
enforced this way. It is used as leverage to make someone move along.
Taking someone's pack or blankets who is living outside is stealing
virtually all of their possessions and tools for survival. Police say
they use the chattel bylaw to confiscate these possessions as evidence
of the crime, and to prevent the continuation of the offense. They
are then kept in storage until a trial, which could be months away.