Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Langley City’s Crime Prevention Task Group working to reduce crime in our community

Langley City has recently moved away from standing citizen advisory committees to citizen advisory task groups. Committees are structured generally around a broad theme such as the environment or crime prevention while task groups have specific mandates around a focused topic. Unlike committees, task groups are disbanded once they have delivered on their mandate. An example of a task group was the Hunter Park Task Group.

Yesterday was the first meeting of the new “Develop a Sustainable Program to Deter Crime and Target ‘Crime’ Hot Spots Task Group.” That name is a mouth full, so task group members decided to refer to the task group as the “Crime Prevention Task Group.”

The task group’s mandate is to develop an ongoing strategy that will encourage the implementation of crime prevention through environment design as well as other programs that will help reduce and prevent crime.

The task group includes five members from the community, and I was happy to see that there is someone younger than me serving on the task group. There are also members that represent the Downtown Langley merchants and Chamber of Commerce, as well as members from the RCMP.

The task group heard a presentation from the RCMP. One of the interesting facts that the RCMP members pointing out is that crime against people is extremely low in Langley City, and that we are a safe community.

According to the RCMP members, most crime committed in our community is property crime. A small number of people are responsible for most crime in our community. One of the major reasons why people steal is to feed their drug addiction. The RCMP members noted that to reduce these sorts of crime, the key is to get people the help they need to kick their addition. This could include helping people get into supportive housing, get into rehab programs, and find stable employment.

The RCMP members gave the task group a brief overview of their community-based crime prevention programs. They also explained the importance of having people report all crime as it helps them figure our where to deploy their resources.

Before and after the RCMP presentation, I asked people to write down what actions they would like to see the task group work on to meet our mandate.

What task group members would like to see the task group work towards before hearing the RCMP presentation. Select image to enlarge.

Other items task group members wanted to work towards after hearing the RCMP presentation. Select image to enlarge.

Based on discussion after the RCMP presentation, the committees’ work will likely fall into three broad categories: crime reporting awareness, crime prevention, and advocacy.

It was a very productive meeting, and I look forward to working with task group members to fulfill our mandate.

As a note, with summer now here, the RCMP will be stepping up their foot and bike patrols in Langley City.

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