City of Vernon bylaw officers answered fewer calls in 2023 than previous year

Bylaw calls decline

Overall, the number of calls City of Vernon bylaw received went down in 2023.

The Protective Services Bylaw Compliance Year End Report will be presented to Vernon city council at their regular meeting Monday.

“Bylaw compliance investigations and calls for service for the year 2023, show a 14.8 per cent decrease in the total number of files investigated over the previous year,” the reports states.

“The primary contributing factors affecting the decrease included a 15.8 per cent decrease in parks and public places files and a 20.3 per cent decrease in files related to the traffic bylaw.”

The report states that calls for service and proactive patrols related to the unhoused population continue to be a priority.

"As officers work diligently, often in difficult situations to help guide unhoused individuals to services, gain compliance with bylaw regulations and deter suspicious activity and behaviour to enhance public safety in the downtown core and adjacent parks."

Bylaw maintains a continued daily pro-active presence in the downtown core through uniformed bylaw compliance officers “to enhance public safety while providing education and resources to address a variety of safety and bylaw related concerns throughout the community.”

Bylaw officers conducted frequent foot, bike and vehicle patrols of the downtown core and surrounding parks and assisted RCMP in locating 57 individuals wanted on warrant.

Bylaw officers continued to liaise with social providers to assist in connecting individuals with housing options and other available community resources.

Officers investigated 2,025 files related to the unhoused population which equates to 41.4% of the Bylaw Department’s files for 2023 with a 3.3 per cent increase in files related to the unhoused population over the previous year.

The 3.3 per cent increase in files can be attributed to continued pro-active presence within the Business Improvement Area and adjacent parks to reduce nuisance issues and behaviours.

Bylaw officers continue to focus on minimizing the impact of unhoused individuals on park users, business owners and the public throughout the community.

Calls for service in the BIA show a 38.2 per cent increase in 2023 over the previous year. Calls for Service from the public in the BIA saw a 5.84 per cent increase over the previous year while proactive files generated by bylaw officers saw an increase of 80.8 per cent as officers continued to be a daily presence to deter suspicious activity and enhance public safety in the BIA.

To read the full report, click here.

More Vernon News