EDITORIAL: A community approach to crime prevention

Recently the Integrated Community Safety Initiative (ICSI) steering committee announced grant funding for projects that reduce crime or make communities in the Cariboo Chilcotin safer.

Building on initiatives such as the pop-up park at the Skate Park two summers ago, increased lighting in the downtown core and the installation of more surveillance cameras in Williams Lake, it will be interesting to see what types of projects emerge.

The deadline for applying is Jan. 31, 2018.

In several communities around B.C., arts and culture is often used as a way to engage people and to prevent crime.

One year in Prince Rupert, the arts council hired an artist to do a summer-long graffiti project in the skate park with a presence there into the evening hours, helping make the venue safer for youth.

Crime prevention is complex and policing is only one part of the process.

When more citizens in communities are healthy, have access to education, housing and employment they are safer places to live.

Almost two years ago, the provincial government gave the Williams Lake area $500,000 to support the ICSI and since then the steering committee has been working on deciding how to spend the money in the wisest way.

The grant program is one of the committee’s ideas.

We as citizens can have input in helping to prevent crime and making our communities safer places.

Whether it’s getting to know our neighbours and keep an eye out and reporting when things don’t seem right, or volunteering for community policing programs, we can all make a difference.

– Williams Lake Tribune

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