Penticton fencing off Gyro Bandshell to deter vagrancy

Fencing for Gyro Bandshell

One of Penticton’s iconic structures is getting a bit of extra protection, with city council unanimously approving a motion on Tuesday to add fencing to deter individuals from using the space.

The Gyro Park bandshell continues to see drug paraphernalia, unwanted activity, graffiti and increase of uncleanliness to the structure, according to city staff.

“With no events occurring due to the public health orders, we are seeing a lot of inappropriate use and an increase to Bylaw and RCMP calls,” said director of development services Blake Laven, adding that 50 calls have come up in the past six months for police to respond to.

Laven noted that the city has tried other solutions in 2016, including sirens, strobe lights, without too much effect and a similar presentation was given to council in 2017 with nothing coming to fruition.

“I think this is a necessary evil,” Coun. Campbell Watt said. “I appreciate that the fencing is going up and I think we can adjust if we need to.”

Coun. Katie Robinson added that “This is long overdue, we should have this area protected.”

“I hope BC Housing is paying attention to the mess they’re creating,” Mayor John Vassilaki said, noting the increased number of individuals sleeping in Gyro Park.

The fencing could go up as early as this weekend.

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