August 21, 2017 2:59 pm
Updated: August 21, 2017 9:01 pm

Vernon cracking down on Polson Park homeless camps

Watch Above: Vernon moved into Polson Park Monday morning to enforce new rules that require homeless campers to pack up every day. The bylaw comes in the wake of a shooting in the camp which triggered calls for safety changes. Now city hall is aiming to prevent the camps from becoming permanent but that’s leaving campers feeling bullied. Megan Turcato reports.

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Vernon has begun enforcing its new bylaw aimed at discouraging the homeless from setting up permanent camps on city owned property.

Earlier this month, council amended its bylaws to allows homeless people to temporarily camp in certain parks, including Polson Park, when they can’t get into a shelter. However, their tents must be removed between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Vernon began enforcing the new bylaw Monday morning, bringing in a dumpster and heavy equipment, clearing out some of the camps set up near the boardwalk in Polson Park.

At this point, the bylaw department said the city is only removing “abandoned” camps and giving people who have not packed up warnings.

Enforcement is expected to escalate to fines.

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