Community policing programs in Williams Lake continue to be successful: Dickson

Williams Lake's safer communities co-ordinator Dave Dickson said all the community policing programs continue to grow.

Williams Lake’s safer communities co-ordinator Dave Dickson said all the community policing programs continue to grow.

During a presentation to council at its regular meeting Tuesday, Dickson said in excess of 100 businesses are now part of Business Watch and the numbers are steadily increasing.

“We send out news tips to be aware and on the watch for people. We’ve had a lot of positive feedback on it. We continue to expand it, but we don’t want to overburden our businesses with daily or weekly reading, so when we get a Business Watch message we want to ensure it’s the information they need.”

He says there have been 21 Crime Stoppers tips in the first part of 2012.

The Crime Stoppers program was recently audited by the provincial crime prevention board. Even though Dickson was a “little stressed” about it, the program received a glowing report.

“We had not been audited before so it was something we want to make sure we’re getting done.”

Restorative justice continues to be a great success, with 16 cases dealt with so far this year. It’s anticipated that number will triple by the end of the year.

“Circles of Strength continues to go along very carefully as we don’t want to overstep our skills. We’ll be training some of our new volunteers,” Dickson says.

Last week social media expert Jesse Miller delivered workshops with parents and the community, the RCMP, and students at Columneetza secondary school.

“It was based on a program called iSmart that looks at how social media is being used today, whether it’s through cyber bullying or sexting.”

Whether people are a parent or a grandparent or a young person, it affects everyone, he added.

“I have a Facebook account and if I could delete everything I’ve put on there I would, but it’s not that easy.”

He can pull things off or close his Facebook account, but everything remains on the Internet forever, he said.

Mayor Kerry Cook told Dickson she appreciates all the efforts of the local RCMP and the community safety programs.