Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Council approves additional funding for Bylaws on Bikes Program

One of the reasons that I moved to Langley City was because of the number of parks, and the extensive trail network. In fact, around 14% of the community is park space. The RCMP has a program in place where members patrol on bicycle throughout the community. Having RCMP members cycling around our community improves their visibility, aiding in crime prevention. Research shows that having police on bikes results in improved access to police services in a community, and increases the likelihood of police encountering an illicit activity in progress during a patrol.

Given the large portion of our community that is only accessible by foot or bicycle, have RCMP members on bikes allows for the patrolling of areas that are not accessible by motor vehicle, improving response times in those areas.

While the RCMP performs summer bike patrols in Langley City, this was not done traditionally by our bylaw department. Last year, a new program was started called the “Integrated Proactive Homelessness Inspection Team.” One of the initiatives of the program was to have bike patrols where both RCMP and bylaw department members where out enforcing both the City’s bylaws and the Criminal Code, with the safety of people who were homeless and other members of the community in mind.

These bike patrols enabled our bylaw department to have improved access throughout our parks and trails network, and other more isolated areas in Langley City. These proactive patrols resulted in a reduction in calls for service for both the RCMP and our bylaw department.

In 2017, our bylaw enforcement staff used bikes made available by the RCMP. This year, those bikes were not available. City council approved investing $4,500 for two bikes plus associated equipment to allow this successful program to continue at last night’s council meeting.

It is innovative programs like this that improve both the perception of safety, and actual safety in our community with minimal cost. A win-win!

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