Penticton council to consider bylaw to govern ‘public behaviour’ | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Penticton News

Penticton council to consider bylaw to govern ‘public behaviour’

The City of Penticton may be giving more authority to its Community Safety Officers.

Council will be considering a “Safe Public Places” bylaw at its next meeting, according to a news release from the City.

“The province is very clear municipalities have the right to regulate what happens in public spaces and we want to find that balance,” Blake Laven, director of development services said in the release.

“The bylaw covers everything from soliciting at ATMs and drive-thrus to public nudity, public urination and taking over public places such that they can’t be used as intended. We want to make sure everyone feels safe and welcome in public places.”

After completing a review of community safety resources, City staff have prepared a report for council that recommends adopting the Safe Public Places Bylaw to establish “clear public behaviour expectations”; adopt a policy that “identifies progressive steps” to deal with those suspected of breaking local bylaws; and designate bylaw and community safety officers as peace officers.

READ MORE: Penticton most crime ridden city in Thompson-Okanagan and much of B.C.

The proposed bylaw offers exemptions for doing drugs in public to conform with the province’s three-year pilot project of drug decriminalization.

Our goal is to ensure that everyone feels safe, including those struggling with addictions issues,” said Laven. “These initiatives are intended to work with and supplement other initiatives addressing addictions in the community and the City continues to advocate for more resources to help those in need.”

The report will be presented to council at the next regular meeting on March 21.

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