EDITORIAL: Team effort needed to fight crime

Merchants, the city and the police must pull together in downtown Vernon

Anyone who has been the victim of crime knows the emotional rollercoaster that comes along with it. There’s anger, frustration and a sense of being alone.

And for some downtown Vernon merchants, the situation is compounded after being targeted numerous times.

That’s why business owner Lindsay James deserves praise for bringing together other merchants Sept. 26 to discuss the matter and possible solutions.

“It’s really frustrating and we need to do something about it,” she said.

Hopefully such an approach can lead to business owners watching out for each other and pursuing common strategies that may help reduce crime. They can also develop stronger relationships with the RCMP, bylaw officers and the city.

But beyond this, a lot of positive work is already happening.

The Downtown Vernon Association is moving ahead with additional surveillance cameras while there are plans for a safety and security assessment to determine what further measures can be taken.

Crime is never going to go away entirely and merchants will continue to get those late night calls about break-ins.

But, between the DVA and James’ passion, combined with the efforts of the RCMP and the City of Vernon, great strides are being taken to minimize the problem.