Wednesday, April 11, 2018

April 9, 2018 Council Meeting Notes: Bringing positive evening activities to our parks, downtown, and neighbourhoods to reduce crime

Langley City is a safe community, having a low violent crime rate. Our community does however have a higher than average petty crime rate. Petty crime includes theft under $5,000, shoplifting, and disturbing the peace. For more information, please read a blog post on crime stats which I created late last year.

One of the best ways to reduce the kinds of negative activity that we see in Langley City is to bring more positive activities into our parks, downtown, and neighbourhoods. Getting people out and about, especially during the evening, builds a sense of community, ownership, and pride. This in turn reduces crime, and the perception of crime, by driving out negative elements.

Langley City’s Crime Prevention Task Group recently completed several working sessions to “identify positive aspects within the community for public promotion.” This was done as one of the task group’s mandates is to promote crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) by recommending measures to bring more eyes and ears to public spaces in our community.

51B Avenue Bridge. Select image to enlarge.

The task group asked council to have City staff investigate implementing several initiatives, with the top four being recommended for implementation this year, and the remaining initiatives recommended for implementation in subsequent years. They are as follows:

  1. Addition of attractive night lighting in the downtown core: increases security and could be in coordination with the laneway activation;
  2. Guided floodplain group walking tours: focus on evening times and highlight nature and wildlife within the floodplain;
  3. Promote Point of Pride Program more actively to keep trails clean, promote within schools;
  4. Graffiti wall: a wall that celebrates community artists and provides a space for legal spray painting. It has been known to help prevent unwanted graffiti in problem areas;
  5. Additional lighting in laneways would encourage safety and security;
  6. Consider lighting in the floodplain to encourage use after dark on key trails;
  7. BMX Jam Night at Penzer Park;
  8. Community street parties;
  9. Yoga in the park;
  10. Lawn bowling: host event that pairs seniors and youth as a team;
  11. More community gardens; and,
  12. Create “Buy and Sell Zone” at Langley RCMP for safe exchange of goods bought and sold online (similar to Abbotsford Police Dept).

The two broad themes of the recommendations are to enhancing lighting and program our public spaces in the evening to encourage positive activity.

Council endorsed the recommendations made by the Crime Prevention Task Group. Tomorrow, I will be posting about the remaining items covered at Monday night’s council meeting.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Glad to see more Community Gardens springing up. I know some councils have been very opposed to them, but they do build 'community' as has been proven in quite rough neighbourhoods, worldwide.