Downtown Penticton issues haven't gone, they just moved - InfoNews

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Downtown Penticton issues haven't gone, they just moved

Downtown Penticton merchants are reporting fewer social issues on the streets, as transients shift their location in the city or move off to pick fruit.
July 08, 2019 - 5:30 PM

PENTICTON - It may be too soon to tell exactly where transients who have disappeared from Penticton’s downtown streets may have gone, but there is some evidence they’ve moved to the downtown’s outer fringes.

Others may have left the city entirely.

City bylaw supervisor Tina Siebert says since the city passed its controversial bylaw amendment restricting sitting or laying on downtown streets in May, problem areas appear to have moved around.  

Downtown merchants generally agreed last week things are improving in the downtown core, with fewer social problems to report since the bylaw passed.

Siebert says the city continues to receive calls from all parts of the city, but notes there may have been a recent reduction due to pickers moving out of the city to find work.

She says the bylaw department is working with the city’s technology department to build a GPS map to visually map all bylaw calls for service.

The data, which is expected to be ready in a few weeks, will be shared publicly, she said.

Penticton RCMP spokesperson Const. James Grandy says he’s pleased to hear of a decrease in concerns by downtown merchants.

“I would say the bylaw which came into effect appeared to contribute to some of the issues being alleviated,” he said today, July 8.

Grandy said, however, police have since been receiving an increase in calls to downtown outlying areas. He said police are working with city bylaw’s new downtown officer in conducting patrols, with some success.

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