Eyes on Kelowna’s crime hotspots considered in budget

If you felt like someone was watching as you were out and about this summer, you may be right.

If you felt like someone was watching as you were out and about this summer, you may be right.

The city launched a CCTV security monitoring program in July and August, amounting to eyes being on the city at all times.

“Each year there is a marked increase in security issues in the downtown core,” reads an item in the 2018 Financial Plan, requesting $30,000 funding a year, for the next three years, to keep the pilot program running.

Areas of concern include, but are not limited to, the Parkades, Queensway Transit Exchange, City hall, Stuart Park and Kasugai Garden.

During the closed circuit television monitoring and rapid Response Co-ordination pilot program’s run through the summer, all existing CCTV cameras were monitored 24 hours day, seven days per week.

RELATED: COUNCIL TO CONTEMPLATE 3.59 % TAX INCREASE

“That produced 425 co-ordinated responses to emergent situations involving criminal activity, mischief, loitering and vandalism,” reads the report.

According to the report, the pilot was very successful, particularly the rapid response component.

“If the budget item is to increase security funding and implement a full-time CCTV monitoring program for the city the deliverable is a safer city through proactive response to security concerns related to intoxication, drug use, theft and confrontation/aggressive behaviour from transients, homeless, youth and individuals known to law enforcement,” according to the budget request.

Kelowna city council will deliberate on its 2018 municipal budget this week. Council will receive a staff presentation of the 2018 financial plan at its regular meeting Dec. 11 meeting, and will hold its annual budget deliberations during an all-day session Dec. 14.

The provisional financial plan includes the proposed 3.59 per cent tax increase based on the cost of maintaining existing services and adding new resources for next year. The final tax increase won’t be known until April when the budget must be finalized and all budget requests have been reviewed by council.

FACEBOOK FEEDBACK

Online readers have had a lot to say about CCTV cameras being manned. Here’s a sample.

Dave Stringer: If you are doing nothing wrong, what do you have to worry! The sad part is there’s a sector of people having no respect for anything or anybody resulting in monitoring certain areas.

Doug Mehus: It’s kind of sad, really, how pervasive surveillance cameras have become alongside their obligatory notification signage that we’ve become somewhat oblivious to them and, by extension, more accepting of them. If you’d asked us this 15-20 years ago, and you did, you’d see more apprehension and unease vis a vis loss of privacy, becoming a “police state,” etc.

Deep Sidhu: We people are police, police are us. It’s all our society the police, the security, the government, it’s all us. Its one of us. So I would have cameras everywhere. To catch mischief. Simple.

Lo Atkinson: Seriously – disappointing we as a society have become so negative- where has trust and being good neighbor gone?

Steven Sims: Of course! Cameras, spying on us and invading our privacy is all part of the agenda.

Donna Love: They are needed.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.



kmichaels@kelownacapnews.com

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