The City of Langley has announced a new crime prevention campaign that aims to have more people keeping an eye on their community by encouraging residents to sign up for Block Watch, Business Link and Crime-Free Multi-Housing.
“Crime Prevention is everyone’s business,” Mayor Ted Schaffer said.
“Together, we can protect ourselves, our neighbours, and our community.”
The latest available crime figures from Statistics Canada show the City has a higher per capita crime rate than the provincial average.
The incident-based crime statistics for 2016 show Langley City averaged 19.6 incidents per 100 people, compared to a provincial average of 8.7 and a Township average of 8.5.
Langley RCMP crime analysts have said the higher City numbers are the result of property crime, not violence.
An RCMP review identified the area between the blocks of 203 Street and 204 Street, from Army & Navy South to 53 Avenue, and the area between 201 Street and 203 Street from Fraser Highway down to 56 Avenue as places where petty crime was more prevalent.
The new crime prevention campaign is the work of the Crime Prevention Task Group, which was set up to implement strategic objectives and accomplish some of the goals recommended by the City crime prevention strategic plan.
Timed for Public Safety week on Nov. 1, the campaign will encourage residents and businesses to share information and reduce crime by signing up for existing RCMP community programs:
Block Watch encourages neighbours to look out for each other, network and share information, thus reducing crime and creating a sense of community ownership and connection with their neighbourhood. For more information contact the Langley RCMP Detachment Block Watch coordinator at 604-532-3213.
Business Link was established two years ago by the RCMP as a program designed to enhance communications between the police and the business community in order to reduce crime. Langley businesses can request a free security assessment and presentation to assist them in helping to protect their assets and create a safe environment. For more information, call the Business Link Coordinator at 604-532-3212.
The Crime-Free Multi-Housing Program (CFMH) is designed to help owners, managers, residents, police and other agencies work together to keep illegal and nuisance activity off multi-family property. For more information, call the coordinator at 604-514-2870.
“Crime does not take a holiday and neither should crime prevention,” said RCMP Superintendent Murray Power, the Officer in Charge of the Langley detachment.
“If our Block Watch efforts have sagged in a particular neighbourhood now is a good time to renew them,” Power added.
“Conversely, with the growth in Langley City now is a good time to start a new neighbourhood program up. There is no need to wait for the criminals to force the issue.”
For more information visit the Langley RCMP or contact your local community policing office.
The new crime prevention campaign follows a reorganization in August that saw creation of a new public safety position by the City.
A former RCMP officers, Dave Selvage, was appointed as manager of bylaw enforcement.
The City also recently created a Problem Property Inspection Team with representatives from Bylaw, Building Inspection, Fire and the Langley RCMP.
The team will handle nuisance properties that generate a high volume of calls for service for the RCMP and the City, like flop houses, party houses and other houses used for criminal activity.
The group will work to enforce City bylaws, criminal code offences and other provincial and federal act violations. In the case of rental property, the group will work with the landlord to resolve the issues.
The City has also installed close-circuit television cameras at Innes Plaza, McBurney Lane, and Douglas Park with signage that warns the public that they are under surveillance.
A new security company was recently hired to patrol the downtown core in the evening which will be supplemented with City Bylaw Officers, the City said.
The City Crime Prevention Task Group was created in March 2017, with the following goals:
- Promoting a CPTED (Crime Prevention through Environmental Design) review at geographic areas where there are high levels of crime. This could be on private properties or City facilities and parks.
- Allocating adequate budget to implement the CPTED recommendations.
- Partnering with the Downtown Langley Business Association and Chamber of Commerce to introduce an incentive program for property owners to implement crime prevention initiatives including CPTED.
- Implementing a communication strategy that sends the signal that City facilities and parks are monitored and that criminal behaviour is not tolerated.
- Increase RCMP foot and bike patrol in the downtown core and at crime hot spots.
- Increase police presence in geographic areas where there are high levels of crime.
- Promote and support Crime Watch in residential neighbourhoods.
- Promote and support Business Watch in commercial and industrial areas.