It's time to find a solution to the ongoing issue of street people, transients and druggies who frequent and hang out day and night in City Park.
RCMP and bylaw staff say they are aware, but their hands are tied and they can do nothing about it unless they catch people breaking the law.
As soon as any authority is in the area, drug dealers and their lookouts quickly disappear, just to reappear once the coast is clear.
They sit and hang out by the same trees and lamp posts in City Park (visible to Abbott Street and every passing vehicle and pedestrian), using the electrical outlets to plug in their cellphones, stereos, laptops and other electronics from first light of day to well after dark, even when the park is supposed to be closed.
They sit in groups all day and night, drinking, doing drugs, fighting, littering and loitering, while various people come and go.
It is evident what the constant foot traffic in and out is doing. Sometimes, they don't even care where they make their drug transactions, choosing to do it right on the sidewalk.
Many people, have witnessed these daily occurrences. These people are oblivious to who sees what they are doing.
Surrounding businesses and their customers witness this every day.
When will the powers at City Hall and the RCMP step up and do something about this? Is this what our beautiful city is about? If they choose not to do anything, they condone it.
Install security cameras and floodlights on tall posts. Beef up bylaw and RCMP patrols. Legislate a no-loitering policy. Basically, make it so uncomfortable for them that they go away.
Why should the surrounding residents and businesses have to be subjected to this day and night? Why must visitors to Kelowna witness this and feel unsafe?
Here are just a few things we have witnessed:
- Daily drug deals.
- Numerous arguments, hollering, swearing and altercations at all hours of day and night.
- A female getting beaten by three males. They ran from the area after the altercation. Then a vehicle came screeching up, and four males with bats and crowbars jumped out, looking for the guys who beat this girl.
- When they actually leave, they leave all their garbage and mess behind.
- Vehicles pull up, the occupants walk into the park and do their business, then leave.
- Underground parkade and vehicles broken into.
- Homeless people caught sleeping in underground parking areas, on patios, rooftops and in business doorways.
- Treating our alleys, doorways and parks as toilets.
- Being constantly approached and asked for cigarettes, money, spare change or if we want to buy drugs.
Do we need to start a petition of area residents and businesses calling for immediate action?
People are concerned that if they come forward and voice their concerns, they will be subject to retaliation and vandalism.