Bylaw activity escalates

Bylaw activity escalates

Vernon’s protective services department dealt with 4,175 complaint files in 2016, up from 3,627 in 2015 and 3,290 in 2014

Social issues have Vernon’s bylaw compliance officers breaking records.

The protective services department dealt with 4,175 complaint files in 2016, up from 3,627 in 2015 and 3,290 in 2014.

“With no changes to be seen in general complaints and increased demand for presence at complaints related to transient or homeless concerns, it is expected that 2017 will surpass 2016 levels,” states a staff report.

Among the 2016 complaints were 231 for panhandling.

“Seventy to 80 per cent of those are in the north end of town — Anderson Way,” said Clint Kanester, protective services manager.

There were 532 complaints related to the downtown core, including 44 alcohol related, 77 drug related, 34 homeless, 22 improper conduct, 50 panhandling, 22 security concerns, five for vandalism and three public urinations.

With parks and public places, there were 758 complaints.

“Staff is dealing with stuff in parks on an ongoing basis,” said Kanester.

Among the concerns in the parks were the homeless, alcohol, drugs, dogs and illegal dumping.

In terms of specific files related to the homeless or transient population, there were 797 in 2016. It includes drugs, alcohol, sharps, encampments, panhandling, hazardous activity, security related concerns, mental health or damage to public facilities.

But it wasn’t just social issues that kept bylaw compliance officers busy.

There were 1,085 complaints for traffic, 63 for signs, 253 for noise, 528 for property maintenance, 151 for snow removal and 34 for animals.