Times Colonist: Pandora homeless troubles soar

July 16, 2010 at 9:27 am Leave a comment

Police say 24/7 patrols not feasible despite rise in crime on 900-block

By Katie DeRosa and Bill Cleverley, Times Colonist July 16, 2010

Problems stemming from homelessness and drug use in the 900-block of Pandora Avenue have dramatically worsened in the last five years, according to Victoria police statistics.

However, the department says it can’t justify the $1.2-million cost of having police there around the clock and said the problem has to be dealt with through housing and support.

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I witnessed yesterday’s Planning and Governance meeting at City Hall where Council went over the budget for next year and the five year plan*. The block is sucking away most police resources. The police budget already comprises a huge amount of the annual budget. Patrolling the 900 block Pandora costs thousands in police overtime wages but this is still more cost effective than hiring and training new officers.

I’ve said it before but the solution addiction, homelessness and crime is treatment and housing for those willing and able to get with the program and institutionalization or incarceration for those that can’t. The Federal and Provincial governments must continue to do their part.

*side note: Where was the Johnson Street Bridge in previous five year plans? Engineers knew for years it was unfixable. Did Council?

Entry filed under: City Hall, Harris Green, Our Place, social issues, Victoria's economy.

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