Come down harder on city’s panhandlers

Public intoxication and even panhandling are increasing dramatically as a community tolerates it.

To the Editor,

Public intoxication and even panhandling are increasing dramatically as a community tolerates it.

On one hand we evaluate this problem as not enough employment and/or mental-health care and facilities, etc., so we overlook the problem, or rather, control it to a sustainable figure.

Now on the opposite hand, this criminal conduct is taking place around important business buildings and in mall areas. Take a look at the negative impact on these businesses. Local businesses are financially starving and/or closing for bankruptcy, or on the verge of.

The reason for this is disorderly conduct of inebriated people in public and panhandling, such as drinking in the vicinity, urination, defecation, passing out, harassment (usually sexually) toward female pedestrians, pickpocketing, purse-snatching, robbery, unlicensed street entertainment and illegal street vending.

We clearly need to implement a safe policy toward this issue. We need to collaborate and create a type of ‘lock-out law’ to prevent this crime and violence. These people create a hardship because customers go elsewhere for business to prevent contact in this distressed environment.

My suggestion is to have our criminal justice team of officials and authorities implement bigger change than what’s been done. I suggest official authority signs and warnings. It is perfectly understood that it cannot be perfectly controlled, but moved and separated, yes. Why not possess a behaviour order with possible jail sentences, probation or community service?

Make these malls safe and happy again and efficient for better business building by placing a zoning law banning all public disorderly conduct. This would solve a great issue at hand.

Rebecca Brie CairnsNanaimo