15 chairs were tagged at Kettle Valley's Public on the Main restaurant in the early hours of the morning of Friday, September 1.

A number of similar incidents have been documented in media stories about Kettle Valley, including broken glass and discarded alcohol containers in Curlew Park and around Chute Lake Elementary, vandalism and tagging of businesses in the commercial plaza on Main Street and of Quilchena Park facilities, and a particularly egregious case of graffiti at Chute Lake Elementary in early October.

In addition to putting an unnecessary black eye on Kettle Valley’s reputation, the costs of clean-up from taggings and other vandalism tax the limited resources of neighbourhood businesses and take away from public funding that could otherwise go to better things.

In discussions with RCMP, City of Kelowna staff, and Crimestoppers, the most important thing the neighbourhood can do to help is to report incidents to the RCMP non-emergency line, Crimestoppers or City of Kelowna bylaw enforcement (e.g. regarding after hours park use, litter and smoking in parks). The City also has a convenient online reporting tool for graffiti removal and other service requests.

It is interesting to note that the RCMP’s main handicap in tracking instances of graffitti, neighbourhood disturbances and vandalism is under-reporting. The more information they can receive from residents the more clues they can add to their files.

So, thank you to all those in the neighbourhood who have helped by reporting incidents to the authorities. Only a concerted effort will help keep Kettle Valley and the Upper Mission a safe and welcoming family neighbourhood.