Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Langley City Crime Prevention Task Group: promoting CPTED reviews, Block Watch, and Business Watch

Last Thursday, the Langley City Crime Prevention Task Group met. You can read about the work that the task group has completed to date by reviewing my posts about the May and the June meetings. At this most recent meeting, we reviewed what the City does to promote Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED).

Gerald Minchuk who is the Director of Development Services and Economic Development provided an overview of how the City requires that CPTED principles be incorporated into all new apartment, townhouse, commercial, and industrial development projects. He also reviewed the work that the City does to incorporate CPTED princples into our own facilities such as Douglas Recreation Centre and Al Anderson Memorial Pool.

While CPTED principles are incorporated into new development projects, our City was built-out long before CPTED was a thing. One of the mandates of the task group is to promote CPTED, included spaces that currently aren’t following CPTED principles. The RCMP currently offers free CPTED reviews; the task group wants to promote the availability of these reviews. The task group, along with City staff, is looking at including information about these CPTED reviews as part of the business license renewal process.

The task group also passed a motion that will be reviewed at a September council meeting, asking that council consider promoting the RCMP’s free CPTED review program, Block Watch program, and Business Watch program in partnership with the Downtown Langley Business Association, Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce, and the local media. The task group also asked council to consider a social media advertising campaign to promote these programs and provide CPTED tips.

One of the things that the task group heard from the RCMP is that they want to know about all suspicious or unsavoury activities, even if an immediate police response is not required. They want people to call their non-emergency number to report these activities. To help promote the non-emergency number, the task group passed a motion requesting that council consider purchasing 5,000 fridge magnets that will be distributed free-of-charge to residents in our community. The magnet distribution program would be geared towards seniors.

There was also discussion at the meeting about developing a phone app that could be used to report issues to the City, and provide the RCMP non-emergency number. More discussion on this idea will occur in the fall.

The task group also heard from Dave Selvage who is the manager of the City’s bylaw enforcement department. He reviewed how the department is working towards an integrated approach with the RCMP and other service agencies to target problem areas in our community where negative activity occurs.

The next Crime Prevention Task Group meeting will be in September.

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