Friday, June 1, 2018

Northwest Communities taking a variety of measures to tackle problem issues in downtown areas

Across the Northwest, many communities are looking to reclaim their downtown areas as a place where all will feel safe and trouble spots are addressed  quickly with police taking a range of measure.

The moves coming after civic complaints stirred their Councils and RCMP detachments to action.

Among some of the interesting ideas that have been offered up have been the creation of special areas of the community for extra police attention.

In Burns Lake the RCMP has put in place what they are calling a Red Zone, which is focused on the Burns Lake Village Centre, where that community's detachment members will conduct frequent foot patrols and enforce a zero tolerance policy for substance abuse related offences and property crime.

The enhanced enforcement for Burns Lake got underway on May 1st.

On Thursday, the Smithers RCMP announced an initiative called A Downtown for All, which will see RCMP members making foot patrols and travelling on bike patrols as they make their rounds of the downtown core throughout the summer.

The Smithers Detachment describe their initiative as follows:

The project is intended to promote a sense of safety by having police officers actively engaging with the public (and addressing their concerns), and by completing general enforcement, including offences under the motor vehicle act and liquor control licensing act. 

There will also be a focus on socially disruptive behaviour and when needed connecting vulnerable persons with the appropriate supporting agency. This activity promotes a pro-active police engagement and presence in the downtown core, and surrounding area. 

The project goal is to make the Smithers Downtown a safe place for all members of the community to enjoy.

Terrace as well has had a history of troublesome behaviour in the downtown core and while their first attempt to address the issue by way of the installation of cameras in the more worrisome areas has hit a pause after the Office of Information and Privacy Commissioner warned the city council off about their plan.

Some Terrace council members are still inclined to move forward however, suggesting that they review the findings from the OIPC, perhaps going so far as to seek a legal opinion on it.

There have also been calls for a stronger police presence in the Terrace downtown to try to address some of the issues that the city is having in the problem areas.

Personal safety in the city is also a issue which has raised concerns in Prince Rupert, with the range of Prince Rupert orientated Facebook pages that are available serving as the community forum for residents who have have tales of their own when it comes to their travels in this city's downtown core and park areas.

Vandalism and Property crime are becoming more and more
of an issue in the city's downtown core area

Prince Rupert's main problem it would seem is a growing frequency of individuals roaming the downtown core, or gathering on stoops, alleyways and other areas often inebriated.

A situation which  leads to socially disruptive behaviour, at times morphing into incidents of vandalism and personal and property crimes. 

If the city's council members have noticed the growing numbers and frequency of those incidents, they haven't dedicated much time towards exploring the issue.

And while they have often made mention of the condition of the city's derelict buildings, when it comes to the theme of whether the residents of their city feel safe in their downtown area, the elected officials have yet to raise it in any of their public sessions.

How the City and its RCMP detachment plan to address the issues this summer could make for a question for the Council members to raise with the detachment head, providing there is another public update for Council planned in the near future.

You can review some of the work of Emergency Service Responders across the Northwest from our archive page here.

No comments:

Post a Comment