It’s been a busy month for police in Vernon, which has some residents again questioning how safe the community is.
The city was ninth on a Maclean’s Magazine list of the most dangerous places last year, and has already had six robberies and a shooting this month.
Mayor Akbal Mund says he remembers back to the mid 1990’s when Vernon had the Gakhal murders when nine family members were slain by the estranged husband of one of the victims.
“We also had about three or four other murders in the same year, or the next year. Did that make me not want to live in Vernon anymore? No it didn’t. I have to look at the overall impact on the community,” Mund tells CJIB News.
Mund says while Vernon has its share of homeless people, he says they are rarely ever aggressive, according to police and bylaw officers.
“Sometimes we may want to look at a person who is walking the streets who looks different that us as if we’re scared of them. I’ve rarely ever encountered anybody who has been aggressive on the streets. It doesn’t happen a lot if you check with RCMP or bylaw.”
Mund says most of the offences that occur are targeted, and involve people who know each other.
“Is there a lot of violent crime in this community? No. Is there a lot of homeless in the community? Yes,” adds Mund.