Town of Oliver
Community Safety and Crime Prevention Committee
about to morph into a larger SO Public Safety group after a 90 minute meeting at Oliver this morning.
Committee will add a representative of corrections branch and Osoyoos RCMP.
All communications to be from chair, Oliver Mayor Martin Johansen
Members at large:
Oliver Fire Department – not present
Osoyoos Indian Band – not present
Crime Watch – Ron Johnson
Interior Health – Deb Runge – Acute Care
Oliver Bylaw – Shiloh Lyver
Corporate Staff – Cathy Cowan and Diane Vaykovich
Area A RDOS Mark Pendergraft
Area C RDOS Rick Knodel
Osoyoos Mayor Sue McKortoff
Osoyoos Councillor Jim King
Oliver Councillor Aimee Grice
Main decision this morning to have a facilitated session within a month to draw out ideas on a needs assessment or to quote Pendergraft – we must determine the root causes, determine the problem and set a list of priorities that are aimed at helping the situation. No date set for this meeting.
Everyone present at the board table spoke as to the issues as they saw them.
Bylaw Officer, RCMP and Mayor mentioned 555 Earle Crescent (pix below) a house in trouble, being watch carefully and taking up a lot of time for the authorities.
Hampson said he is most concerned with the driving habits of some motorists and has reported at least one person for running a stop sign in the neighbourhood. His other concern is how to communicate with police when they are not on duty.
Guthrie went to a familiar theme of saying video surveillance is the answer. He mentioned that he knew of people leaving Oliver because of fear but several countered “….and where are they going?”
Guthrie mentioned yet again that some call him a “wing nut”.
Blaine Gervais – top cop in Oliver said most crime is not violent but he understands where fear is generated. But the crooks are given a constant supply of material that is available from unlocked vehicles and premises. More work on education is needed. All the thefts are related to the need for more drugs. Gervais said if you do a study from Kelowna to the border – Oliver has the most rentals of a low cost which is attractive to many people in this category. The RCMP is also working with IH on talking to those with serious drug habits trying to get them in a methadone/treatment plan that can/might limit criminal activity.
Johansen said the crime rate is unacceptable and the committee must find the ways of assisting the RCMP in their duties – not to interfere. The mayor said more recognition should be given to other community organizations like Crime Watch – Citizens on Patrol etc.
Knodel referred to basic causes of increased crime: poor court sentencing, working poor, young offenders act, lack of low cost housing with many in the rural area resorting to RV living or couch surfing to make ends meet.
This reporter recorded these sayings during the discussion: let’s get down to the’ nuts and bolt’s, where the ‘rubber meets the road’, ‘cracking down on the crack houses’, ‘no overnight solutions” …..