Monday, November 20, 2017

An update on Langley City Crime Prevention Task Group initiatives moving forward

Last Thursday, Langley City’s Crime Prevention Task Group met for the last time this year. The task group has a set of eight objectives to accomplish. The group was able to complete many of these objectives over the last eight months, but some remain incomplete. The task group will be asking council to extend the group’s mandate into 2018 to allow the group to finish off the remaining tasks.

One of the initiatives of the task group is to provide stickers for residents which would include RCMP non-emergency contact information, and a space for people to write their own address. These stickers would be targeted for distribution to seniors in our community. The stickers would help people remember their address in a pinch, and would remind people to call the RCMP to report all suspicious activity. City staff are working on the final details for these stickers, and I expect a final design to come to council for possible approval early in the new year.

On the topic of reporting suspicious activity to the RCMP, I’ve heard from some people in our community that they don’t feel their information is used, or that it is worthwhile to call in. One of the questions from the task group to the RCMP was how does the police let people know that information provided is useful. Inspector Shawn Boudreau noted that RCMP members will get back to people if more information is needed after they call in suspicious activity. Even if the information doesn't appear to be used, it is used to plot crime trends in neighbourhoods. If a crime analysts does notice a trend, the RCMP can adjust policing accordingly.

Boudreau did note that a recent phone call by a resident, reporting suspicious activity, led to the arrest of robbery suspects. More information about this can be found in a recent RCMP press release.

One of the mandates of the task group is to partner with the Downtown Langley Business Association and Chamber of Commerce to introduce an incentive program for property owners to implement crime prevention strategies. The task group has representatives from the Downtown Langley Business Association and Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce. These representatives were able to secure a discount for businesses that want to install a monitored alarm system and/or motion sensor lights. The representatives will now be working on promoting this incentive program though the local business community.

On November 6, Langley City council was informed that a brochure will be included as part of the business license renewal process, informing business owners about the free crime prevention assessment available through the RCMP. This brochure was an initiative of the task group, and the group was informed that the brochures have now be distributed.

New crime prevention brochure for businesses - outside. Select image to enlarge.

Another initiative of the task group was to have the City launch “a crime prevention campaign to encourage residents and businesses to share information and reduce crime by signing up for existing RCMP community programs such as Block Watch, Business Link and Crime-Free Multi-Housing.” This campaign launched on November 1 for Crime Prevention Week.

The task group will not be meeting in December, but if council approves an extended term, will be meeting in the new year.

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