Prince George RCMP to launch “Queensway Initiative”
Prince George, B.C.- Residents in the Queensway and VLA area of Prince George are being invited to attend a special town hall meeting on Tuesday February 23rd to talk about crime issues in their neighbourhood.
The meeting is being hosted by Prince George RCMP Superintendent Warren Brown. “The plan is to give the residents and businesses in the area an opportunity to hear what the police have to say” says Supt. Brown. “What we can do is provide them with some crime stats in the area, our concerns, and some of the complaints we’ve heard from some of the residents. It’s an opportunity for the residents to voice some of their concerns and to work collaboratively together then to come up with a solution that gives everybody some responsibility.”
Superintendent Brown says his detachment knows there are issues in the neighbourhood, ” It has an over represented crime rate in that area for a lot of nuisance files, some property theft, theft from autos, there is some prostitution , there are some other drug related offences happening, so albeit that is not unique in the hub cities of our size, it is also not acceptable.”
But what is the plan to correct the problem?
He says there are a number of issues in the neighbourhood such as a lack of social housing, poverty and addictions, areas which are not within his jurisdiction “My core responsibility is public safety, so, again just simply arresting people and putting them in jail pending trial isn’t the answer, so this is why we are having a consultation in the area to see where the gaps are and to identify some of the root causes to this.”
Once the issues have been identified he is hopeful that will be a first step towards engaging other stakeholders and agencies which do have responsibility for dealing with the issues.
He says there are criminal acts taking place all over the City, and he simply doesn’t have the resources to focus all the attention in one neighbourhood “It’s pretty clear when I came to the City late last year saying ‘give me more members’. I could use 50 more members, but that’s not realistic. So the community has to accept some of this responsibility and we have to find, or create a solution, other than just a police response.”
The first step towards developing a solution is a townhall meeting with concerned Queensway and VLA residents. That meeting is taking place 7 p.m. on Tuesday February 23rd in the Annex at City Hall.