Re.: Poll: Do you feel safe on the downtown streets of your city? (Castanet, Jan. 25)
I am 69 years old and have lived in Kelowna since 1969.
For the last 13-plus years, I have lived right downtown (inKelowna) on St. Paul Street. It’s a beautiful location and I don’t have to drive anywhere if I don’t want to. In the 12 years prior to (moving there), I lived in the Ethel/Pandosy area.
Never had I seen the crime, debauchery and just plain “in your face” disgusting behaviour that I have witnessed throughout the summer of 2021. It was never like that before June 2021.
The police and bylaws (officers) seem unable to contain the violence, drugs, sex workers, thievery and any and all manner of criminal activity that persists.
This isn’t a just a homeless issue. As I see it, street level criminals hide amongst the homeless, thumb their noses at any authority that tries to get them out of there and are protected by another level of criminality.
It seems to me that the open “in your face” street crime has been moved from Leon Avenue to St. Paul Street and from Doyle Avenue to Clement Street.
Frankly, I’m appalled. No, I don’t feel safe and I am not safe walking in my neighbourhood.
Just a few short weeks ago, I walked from my apartment to the liquor store at approximately 2:30 p.m. and was stalked by two young men. One of them followed me into the store, picked up the same case of beer as I did, then put it down as he followed me out of the store.
I decided to take an alternate route and detoured over to Ellis Street and he stopped following me.
I make a plea to the city, the police, Crown (prosecutors) and other “powers that be” to get this cleaned up so we can feel safe on our Kelowna city streets.