Tantya Turner, the Director of Development Services, says the idea is to produce an action list to reduce community crime and disorder tensions in the community overall…
“It will involve property crimes and their patterns, police resources and crime reduction prevention approaches, a review of city resources and prevention programs including bylaw and code enforcement, community partner and stakeholder participation in these conversations, service provider resource like social services, housing, health, as well as potential for community engagement.”
The cost of the assessment is 13 thousand dollars.
Mayor Bob Simpson says this is the best way for the city to really get a foundational piece on what we need to do as a community…
“We’ve had extensive conversations over the last few weeks with Northern Health, with BC Housing, we met at length with Seasons House, so we’re doing a lot of groundwork. But we really need someone to come in and say here is your low hanging fruit to get on top of this through design, here is where you can start to rebuild relationships or have a multi-agency approach to it, here’s where you’ve got to do some more enforcement options and maybe make some of your enforcement capability more robust, so i think it’s the right thing for us to do.”
Simpson says a lot of the traditional methods of the resources that the community used to have no longer exist such as auxiliary RCMP officers, Citizens on Patrol and Neighbourhood Watches.
He says they are also working on multiple fronts…
“I have asked the City Manager to look at the late August or early September to come back with a report that is more comprehensive on all of the pieces that we have in play to try and address the issue of the property crimes, predominantly it’s property crimes and it’s absolutely drug-related property crimes that we have going on in the community, so we will be bringing a report back to Council showing all of the different strategies. We’re also trying to seek a late August-early September meeting with all of the housing providers in the community so all the not-for-profits, agencies that might be interested in developing housing and with BC Housing and health to try and understand what the housing continuum is that we need.”
Simpson says he also wants to sit down with the social services agencies, because part of the struggle he is having is nobody seems to be willing to work with the city to answer the question of why a community of our size is experiencing this uptick of people that we don’t know in our community, this uptick in property crimes, this uptick in the extensive amount of harm reduction kits that are being distributed in the community.
He says they need to work with the social agencies to really understand if they can help them to get at some of the root issues of what’s going on in the community.