Vancouver: This five-year plan has been informed by input gathered from residents, visitors, and businesses in Vancouver. We heard loud and clear from Vancouverites that they want us to focus on issues and crimes that affect their safety, and to help keep those living with mental health issues out of danger and away from criminals who want to take advantage of vulnerable people.
Based on this feedback, we have developed a plan to guide our department for the next five years: we will work to reduce crime, improve public safety, and make Vancouver the safest major city in Canada. At the same time, we will remain flexible to deal with emerging crime trends.
To help us achieve our goals, we have developed six strategies:
First, we will work closely with our community. We will create more opportunities to engage our communities and foster relationships, understanding, and trust with a wide range of people including our youth, First Nations, LGBTQ2+, and other community groups. We will build on programs such as Safe Place and the Cadet Program to ensure we are connecting with community and engaging with youth to help them stay on the right path.
Second, we will continue to work with our health partners to assist those who are affected by mental health issues and we will further strengthen our mental health programs. For example, we have partnered with St. Paul’s Hospital on a new HUB program. The HUB opens this year and will improve health care for those living with mental health issues and will also reduce wait times for our front line officers at the hospital to ensure they can get back on the street in a timely manner.
Third, we will continue to fight violent crime and address its causes to keep Vancouver safe. This will be through overt and covert enforcement strategies.
Fourth, we will continue to develop innovative ways to combat property crime. We will target repeat offenders, educate the public, and raise awareness, and use leading-edge analytics to identify emerging crime trends and develop strategies to address them. For example, we are refining predictive policing software that could allow us to be a step ahead of potential offenders and assist in preventing crime.
Fifth, we will enhance people’s feelings of safety. We have partnered with health care providers to ensure we support initiatives such as equipping our officers with naloxone, but also to raise awareness of the lack of available treatment on demand, while also targeting those who traffic fentanyl and other deadly substances in our community.
And finally, we will help people be safe on our roadways. We will work to improve road safety by targeting unsafe behavior like distracted driving. We will continue to work with our road safety partners like ICBC and the City of Vancouver.
We have a lot of work ahead of us. The key to the success of our plan is the health and wellness of the brave men and women of our department. We will support our people by taking care of their mental and physical well-being, and ensuring they have the tools they need to serve the city of Vancouver. We will conduct a review to determine our true staffing requirements to make sure we have the right number of people in the right places.
In delivering this plan, we will be guided by our enhanced values: integrity, compassion, accountability, respect and excellence. We care about our community, we care about providing excellent service, and we care about each other.