Five cameras are installed in downtown Penticton to deter an upswing in crime and disorder. (File photo)

Five cameras are installed in downtown Penticton to deter an upswing in crime and disorder. (File photo)

Downtown Penticton getting surveillance cameras to deter crime and disorder

Cameras being put up in five crime hot spot areas

Surveillance cameras are going up around downtown Penticton as a way to deter crime.

Located in three to five high-crime locations, and featuring signage, two-way voice notifications and strobe lights, each camera will be monitored from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. with the operator, if needed, advising those trespassing or acting irresponsibly to move on or, if needed, calling on either bylaw or the RCMP.

This pilot project is being launched by the Downtown Penticton Association (DPA) who have been sounding the alarm about the impact crime is having on local businesses.

At the Oct. 5, meeting, Penticton city council directed staff to provide the DPA with a $40,000 grant to fund the project costs associated with installing downtown surveillance cameras on commercial properties.

“By way of this pilot project, businesses and residents in the downtown will gain a better sense of security knowing that our bylaw and RCMP are responding to issues that are happening, versus issues that have happened,” said Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki.

“Overall, the situation downtown is challenging, and while there’s no single solution for addressing the deliberate disorder we witness, I’m pleased to see proactive organizations like the DPA helping the situation by coming forward to council with ideas that we can introduce now to deter poor behavior and respond to crime.”

The DPA is hoping the cameras will also deter aggressive and dangerous behaviour against visitors and business owners.

“With crime and disorder affecting our business community and residents, one solution we brought forward to pilot is the Remote Guard Service,” said DPA executive director Lynn Allin. “Our intent is to reduce unwanted activity in our downtown with a security program to deter unacceptable behaviour that is negatively impacting our members and their customers.”

Through this partnership with the DPA, the DPA will work with a local electrical and security company to implement the pilot program and, on a monthly basis, provide the city with information on the results of the monitoring and the program’s overall performance.

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