Make Penticton Safe Again

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There have been over 100 calls of theft under $5000, over 300 calls of theft, and just over 70 calls of break and enters of our local businesses in the first few months of 2019. All you have to do is take a quick scroll down our local social media groups and the severity of the crime and break-ins becomes very clear. The citizens of Penticton deserve to feel safe in the community they live and work in.

I am passionate about this topic because my business was a target of a break in. About my situation: I am 27 years old, and I opened my shop on Main St in Penticton on January 26, 2017 when I was 25. My store survived its first break in on March 30, 2019. I had purchased 3 security cameras - one of which was hooked up at the time of the break in. The lone thief pried my garage door panels apart and managed to let himself in, and help himself to around $3000 in electronics (including 2 laptops, my 2 new security cameras, and a Moneris debit machine.) I work 6 days a week for a total of 54 hour weeks - this store is my livelihood. I will never forget the horrible feeling of violation, sadness, and anger when I walked into my store and saw the mess the next day. Coincidentally, two other local businesses had been broken into the very same night. 

My insurance company advised me not to make an insurance claim, as my premiums would be increased for following years and it wouldn't be worth it - and so, I had to absorb the losses. The one thing that I'm thankful for, is that the criminal did not damage my storefront windows. Fun fact: Walls and doors are covered by the landlord - window replacement must be covered by the tenant. Had they broken my windows to gain entry, I would have had to spend money I do not have to replace them. Our small businesses cannot afford to deal with recurring situations like this, and I fear for the future of Penticton if we don't take action soon. 

The City of Penticton has approved a budget of $50,000 to be spent on Christmas Lights for 2019. Alternatively, I think these funds could have been used to greatly improve the safety of our downtown core. Security needs to be escalated, and our local, hardworking, tax-paying business owners require security surveillance cameras on the streets. We want more public security cameras in the downtown areas where our local businesses operate, and are open to ideas that the city may have to improve the current state of Penticton. Changes must happen. 

I believe this should be top priority at this time. 

When is enough, enough?