Increased policing urged for Polson Park

Vernon politicians pushing for more police presence in Polson Park

At least one community leader believes there needs to be more police presence in Vernon’s primary park.

With ongoing public concerns about safety and criminal activity, Coun. Patrick Nicol says there needs to be a community policing focus in Polson Park.

“We have continuously, through the years, had issues there,” he said.

“It’s a bit of a weakness we have because of the design (of the park). It’s not as lit as it could be.”

Nicol raised concerns after an Aug. 20 incident in which an individual was stabbed in Polson Park. Police have determined that the attack was targeted, a suspect was arrested and the matter is before the courts.

Supt. Reg Burgess, with the RCMP, says he is aware of the concerns and design changes could perhaps be made.

“We can look at ways to improve that. There can be scheduled patrols by bylaws (enforcement officers) and our members,” he said.

Statistics show that Criminal Code cases rose 3.4 per cent in Vernon in the third quarter of 2012.

This brings an end to six consecutive quarterly reductions.

“It’s mostly theft of vehicles and theft from vehicles. We hope it’s a blip in the system,” said Burgess.

During July to September, traffic fatalities (six) were down 40 per cent from 2011.

Weekend foot patrols in the downtown core have wrapped up for the season but Burgess says they were successful.

“Our members generated more than 225 hours of high visibility foot patrols in the downtown core, checking parks and crime hot spots,” he said.

“Since the May long weekend, these patrols generated more than 100 licensed premises checks, 48 provincial charges, 29 warnings, 25 liquor files, four drug seizures, 10 street checks of unknown individuals, 36 arrests and 61 patrols of parks and beaches in the area.”