An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
VICTORIA STREET WEST business owners are understandably concerned about a dramatic uptick in crime in recent months.
They report frequent break-ins, theft, vandalism, destruction of property, and discarded needles. After a year of reconstruction work on the street that made access to businesses a challenge, then the COVID-19 pandemic and now the crime problem, they’re struggling.
Mayor Ken Christian puts the onus on the businesses to upgrade their security systems.
The pandemic is blamed for some of the problem, with criminals being released early and panhandling opportunities reduced. The addition of the Rosethorn House supportive housing apartment is suspected as a contributor. Not the only cause, but part of it.
Victoria Street West is experiencing exactly the same issue as the Tranquille Road corridor did almost 20 years ago.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at email@example.com.