Private security patrols of downtown Sechelt will begin this week.
Sechelt has contracted Unison Security to monitor areas with heightened crime, such as the downtown core, according to a Oct. 18 press release and Sechelt communications manager Lindsay Vickers.
In early September, District of Sechelt Council voted to spend up to $50,000 to hire private security to patrol the municipality as a three-month pilot program after hearing concerns over community safety.
“This decision is a direct result of the increasing crime in Sechelt and concerns for the safety of our residents,” Sechelt Mayor John Henderson said in the release. “The data we receive from this pilot program will be invaluable in helping us direct our first responders.”
A security firm that specializes in de-escalation techniques will patrol various areas of Sechelt seven nights a week, including downtown Sechelt, Davis Bay and surrounding areas. District of Sechelt facilities, parks and washrooms will also be monitored in the patrols.
“It is our hope that the Community Watch Team increases safety for all and reduces theft and vandalism to vehicles, private residences and businesses,” said Coun. Brenda Rowe, chair of Community Safety Select Committee said in the news release. “While we can’t change the actions of a few, we can guide them towards services or assistance while increasing safety for all residents at the same time.”
Vickers reminds residents to call 911 if there is an emergency or if they are concerned about illegal activity or if there is something that requires a police presence, to contact the RCMP non-emergency line.
Residents who would like to learn more about the pilot program or offer ideas about community safety may email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jordan Copp is the Coast Reporter’s civic and Indigenous affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.
By Jordan Copp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Original Published on Oct 23, 2023 at 12:44