Busker compares downtown with 'the east side'
The following post appeared on Facebook yesterday and is an observation from well known local busker Catherine Davis: "I busked downtown Nanaimo today for the first time in ages I felt like I was downtown east side Random people screaming and swearing acting crazy I did not feel warm and fuzzy I felt really on edge I was glad there were police everywhere Back to Vancouver tomorrow At least I can have some shelter in the stations Downtown Nanaimo is not the way it used to be".
I have heard from more than one person that downtown Nanaimo seems to be becoming less and less attractive all the time with more and more disturbing behaviour from public intoxication to aggressive panhandling among other things.
Are Bylaw Officers Addressing This Issue??
My memory may be a bit shaky on this point but I recall a time when the city employed a private security company to help make downtown a friendlier place for all. One particular female agent was well known and respected as being able to compassionately and effectively deal with the people who might be considered 'the problem'.
When the city decided to take parking in-house and out of the hands of Robbins Parking they had to hire some more staff to patrol downtown for parking tickets etc. One of their tasks was to be replacing the work of the private security company which was subsequently let go. Some I have spoken with say that the city never came up to the same level of service which had been provided by the private security company.
Is this a case of people such as Catherine being mistaken about the downtown area, or in fact has the city dropped the ball with the level of service the bylaw officers are providing in patrolling the downtown core?