'Our streets are not safe': Kamloops business association calls for criminal accountability | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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'Our streets are not safe': Kamloops business association calls for criminal accountability

Image Credit: Kamloops North Shore BIA Via Facebook
May 12, 2021 - 11:57 AM


The North Shore Business Improvement Association said crime and vandalism in Kamloops has the city in a "state of siege."

That's from a letter recently sent City of Kamloops officials, RCMP and other government officials, calling for increased accountability for criminality on the North Shore and an end to conditional releases for alleged criminals. The North Shore business association represents 420 businesses in the area.

"Our justice system appears to be significantly dysfunctional and not tuned to community order or safety," the letter from the business association reads.

A recent break-in at Jamaican Kitchen appears to have been a catalyst for the business improvement association's executive director Jeremy Heighton and president Bryce Herman to draft the letter, calling for more accountability on criminality in Kamloops.

According to the letter, restaurant co-owner Kamau Metsinela was cleaning after the break-in and was confronted by two people who told him: "We own these streets, so fuck off."

Metsinela found his property in alleys around his business and people drinking their product. They were left feeling RCMP had their hands tied in holding those responsible to account.

READ MORE: Kamloops restaurant owners back in the kitchen after break-in

In the last quarter, the association has tallied nearly $168,000 in damages related to vandalism, graffiti, theft and crime prevention around Tranquille Road.

Businesses in the area are also helping to pay for increased security patrols in the 400-block area of Tranquille Road to the tune of around $9,000 per month. But even with the added security, the association said the streets are not safe.

"We would be reticent if we did not note that this letter does not deal with the social issues side of community safety. We are strong proponents of a system focused on healthy community outcomes including sobering and detox, complex care and graduated community recovery services," the letter reads.

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