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October 27, 2017 8:45 pm

Queensway Clean Up Makes Progress

Friday, October 14, 2016 @ 6:01 AM


Prince George RCMP Superintendent Warren Brown  outlines  crime stat comparisons – photo 250News

Prince George, B.C. – It has been  8 months since the Prince George RCMP launched  what it calls the “Queensway Initiative” a concerted  effort to  reduce the crime that has  been happening in  the area of 17th and Queensway area of Prince George and it is having an impact.

At a meeting last night,  RCMP Superintendent  told  a  group of residents of the area, that police are making progress.  Between January and  the end of September this year,  there were 539 calls for service  to the area.  That’s up  from 421 calls  for service to the area  during the same time frame last year,  and down slightly from the 557 such calls in 2014.  In 2013  during the first nine months  of that year there had been 458 calls.

So while the  number of calls to the  area are up 28%,  Supt. Brown  would like to think  that  is because  residents  now feel more comfortable  in making those  calls  “When  you think something is just not right,  when it makes your heart  beat faster or  your hair stand up, call 9-1-1” Brown added  it’s the calls  that  will  help resolve  the  issues in the neighbourhood “We don’t know  what we don’t know”.

The good news is,   with increased patrols,  new programs such as the Car 60 program which  deals with  calls  involving mental health issues,  restorative justice  and  a number of other initiatives involving  other stakeholders and agencies in the City,  crime in the  17th and Queensway area  is trending down.  “I am still not content” said Supt. Brown “This is still a  high crime rate.”

Violent crime in that area of Prince George is down 50%, property crime is also  down,   having dropped by 36% .  There have been fewer thefts from vehicles,  the number of break and enters  has dropped,  but possession of stolen  property charges have increased and  drug offences  have more than doubled but that is likely the result of a  special  enforcement  project.

Residents  expressed  gratitude  for the extra effort,  noting they have  seen more police  patrols and police presence in the past few months,  and offered praise to a young Constable Monette  who  joined in a  game of  hoops with some neighbourhood  youth “Those  boys thought it was really cool” said  one resident,  while another noted  “it made me feel safe as a mom.”

Yet,   one woman  told Supt. Brown  how she   won’t let her 14 year old daughter walk to the 7-11  at 17th and Queensway  after dark,  and  another  said that while she has  a couple of mid sized dogs,  she is afraid to walk them on the street in the evening .  Supt. Brown  advised her to  call police “We have four dogs,  and they’re big,  and we will walk them down  your street.”

The residents detailed a number of  ongoing issues such as  spent  needles, bike couriers who whiz  down the alley ways  “like hummingbirds” , open drug dealing  and  shady characters carrying new T.V’s  sneaking into  apartment buildings at all hours of the night.

It is clear  the work is far from over, and while the Superintendent says he doubts  the area will ever  be crime free, residents were  appreciative of the efforts to  not only deal with the issues in the area, but  Supt. Brown’s  commitment to  keep them  engaged and  involved.  He called on the neighbourhood to  keep the  lines of communication open, “It’s the squeaky wheel that gets the grease” and closed the  session  with a promise “We won’t neglect you.”


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