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Bring Back Safe Victoria

I moved to Victoria 16 years ago, and my three children were born here. My family used to enjoy walking through Beacon Hill park, visiting the petting zoo, shopping downtown, eating at downtown restaurants. We found Victoria to be a welcoming place 16 years ago. Unfortunately, city council's decision to allow entrenched 24/7 camping in public parks has increased the level of violent crime in the city. In just the past few weeks, a man was arrested for pulling a knife on two women in Bastion Square on a Monday afternoon, a father was threatened in front of his family by the playground in Beacon Hill park, and a disabled man was assaulted and robbed in Beacon Hill park. The supportive housing facilities set up all over downtown Victoria are also regularly in the news for violent assaults occurring there, as well as seizure of drugs and weapons. This no longer feels like a safe place to raise a family. The first step in making this a welcoming city again is to admit that we have a problem with public safety and make a plan to rectify the situation. Let's be less welcoming of the criminal element and more welcoming of ordinary, law-abiding people.