Tuesday, July 11, 2017

July 10, 2017 Council Meeting Notes: RCMP update on key objectives plus addressing homelessness matters and reducing crime in the community

Yesterday was the penultimate Langley City council meeting before our summer break in August. As such, it was packed with updates about our various city departments, plus the first quarter update from the Langley RCMP by Officer in Charge, Superintendent Murray Power.

The RCMP have introduced a new format of reporting to improve their transparency to both council and the community, to provide more information about their objectives, to show enhanced crime statistics, and to highlight significant law enforcement operations. Traditionally, quarterly updates from the RCMP almost exclusively focused on crime statistics.

The Langley RCMP is jointly funded by Langley City, the Township of Langley, and the federal government.

In Langley City, the RCMP’s key goals and objectives are addressing homelessness in our community, and working with Langley City to review our crime reduction strategy. RCMP members sit on our Crime Prevention Task Group which I am currently chairing. To accomplish these goals, RCMP Community Liaison Officers are collaborating with Langley City staff including our bylaw department.

Getting out into the community is also a focus area for the Langley RCMP. Over the summer, more police are on bike patrols as an example. The RCMP has also been involved in community outreach including hosting town hall meetings, and connecting with new immigrant groups where police are not seen as looking after the best interests of residents and communities in their home countries.

Other key goals of the RCMP, according to Power, are to address domestic violence, modernize operations, target crime hot spots to reduce crime, and enhance road safety.

Distracted driving is a serious issue in our community. Power highlighted that the Langley RCMP recently purchased long-range observation equipment. This equipment allows RCMP members to take photos of people in vehicles up to 2km away who are holding electronic devices and driving. This should help enforce distracted driving laws in Langley City.

Power also took time to review crime statistics in Langley City. There are two broad categories of crime statistics: person related offences and property related offences.

As shown in the following chart, property offences were slightly above average until May, when they dropped to below the 5-year rolling average. This drop was due to proactive policing that targeted prolific offenders.

Property related offences in Langley City over the last eight months, including 5-year rolling average.

Person related offences are extremely low in Langley City though there has been one homicide this year. Power explained that the RCMP is working with the restaurant community around the Langley Bypass to help discourage people who are involved in organized crime from frequenting these restaurants.

At the end of Power’s presentation, I asked him what options are available for people if they want to ensure that their home is safe. Power noted that the Langley RCMP provides safety assessments of both homes and businesses at no charge. All people need to do is call the RCMP non-emergency line at 604-532-3200. People should never feel awaked about calling the non-emergency line. The police are here to help, and provide many services that help prevent crime in our community.

I will be posting about other items covered at last night’s council meeting tomorrow and Thursday.

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