Statement from Mayor John Vassilaki on Community Safety Concerns


“We’re all concerned about community safety and understand the frustration that many are feeling in our community as they sense our city is changing for the worse. 

“Any crime that makes any one of us feel less safe impacts the entire community – whether that’s stolen property, harassment on the street or something more serious. 

“We all agree on the need to work together on solutions and to push them forward. But this must be done in a co-ordinated fashion; we don’t need to operate in ways that create more stress in the community.

“Ensuring a safe, secure and healthy community is a priority for the City of Penticton. We’ve taken steps through the hiring of additional RCMP officers, increasing the number of community safety bylaw enforcement officers and conducting a community safety review. 

“The community has taken steps by joining groups like Citizens on Patrol, by signing up for programs like Project 529 to help stop bike thefts and Lock Out Auto Crime, conducting a CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) and supporting restorative justice programs. We will be looking to expand these programs and deliver new ones.

“But it’s not enough just for the community to come together – we need more partners.

“The province needs to step up and deliver what we’ve been promised. It’s time to stop the catch-and-release program that sees a small group of people consuming a high percentage of police time. We need BC Housing to deliver on the promised recovery centre on Skaha Lake Road and we need Interior Health to provide effective wrap-around services to those in need.”

“Together, we can make change and I hope to hear ideas from residents on how to achieve these goals through practical and legal methods.”


Shane Mills
Senior Communications Advisor
City of Penticton