Crime, not a health issue

Re.: 'It’s a health care issue' (Castanet, Sept. 10)

A health care issue? I don’t think so.

I am not one of, or in any way associated with any of the businesses mentioned in the Sept.10 Castanet story, where you can read the response of Kelowna’s mayor.

I think almost everyone is getting rather tired of this automatic response of feigned empathy for the devastation numerous businesses, private citizens/property owners and others are being subjected to by Kelowna’s apparently untouchable “guests”. The only real apparent mental issue seems to be an overwhelming reluctance to doing anything about it by those who have the position, power and the tools to do something about it.

Why are almost all of Kelowna’s troubles labelled as a mental health issue? It certainly seems like an easy excuse for the criminal activity that occurs non-stop in this town. It’s an easy out for a politician to call it that, then call it a day. Call it what it really is—criminal activity without consequences for the perpetrators. Attributing all of these criminal acts to mental health is an insult to the truly mentally ill.

The mayor’s response sounds more like a canned election speech that we’ve heard too many times before. Kind of like some of the rhetoric we are being exposed to right now from federal politicians. It sounds wonderful and kind but when you think about it, it’s as hollow as can be and actually says nothing. Bafflegab at best.

If the RCMP are having difficulty physically responding to these situations, perhaps it is because doing so results in nothing of consequence happening in the court system. Maybe it is time for Kelowna to look at the alternative of establishing its own local police force, which would have more of a vested interest in the safety of the community, providing the courts stopped being a revolving door – walk-in and walk-out situation for the punks and miscreants of this city, who seem to enjoy their own free will to do as they please... and to whomever they please.

It is also noted that the 550 Doyle Avenue shelter and most others are allowed to have a fence at least 10 feet high draped in black to hide their possessions which undoubtedly also include some stolen items, while the average citizen is restricted to a much lower fence height as they try to protect the possessions they actually own. What’s up with that?

I could go on an on with more comments and questions such as this... but I think you get my drift. Now, I can hardly wait for the bashing I’ll get from those who continually make excuses for the criminals in our midst.

Robert Hawkshaw, Kelowna

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