A Penticton business owner is hoping an online petition will raise awareness of crime rates in the city.
The petition, called Make Penticton Safe Again, was started on Saturday by Chrystina Barnard of Lucky’s Pet Supply on Main Street. She claims property crimes have increased substantially.
“A lot of local businesses are being broken into,” Barnard told Global News on Tuesday afternoon. “Every time I open my Facebook, there’s a new business or home that’s been broken into.”
Barnard added “the city has to change something because it can’t continue the way it’s going. It’s really, really bad with the crime levels.”
In a recent list of Canada’s most dangerous places in 2018, done by Maclean’s, two Okanagan cities were ranked in the top 20: Vernon at ninth and Penticton at 16th. Kelowna was ranked 34th, while North Battleford, Sask., was ranked first.
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Penticton’s crime severity index was listed at 146, double the national average of 70.96. Vernon’s listing was 157, while Kelowna’s listing was 116.
That list can be found here.
The petition reads: “There have been at least 10 of our local businesses broken into and robbed in the first few months of 2019 alone. 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.”
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As of Tuesday, the petition had a reported 564 signatures.
Barnard said a starting point to help reduce crime would be more security cameras, stating, “I don’t feel like we have enough surveillance, and police can’t be everywhere at once.”
The petition can be found here.