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October 27, 2017 8:39 pm

Connaught Closure Sees Crime Drop

Friday, October 21, 2016 @ 10:40 AM


Prince George RCMP Superintendent Warren Brown and Mayor Lyn Hall  talk about reduced crime stats- photo 250News

Prince George, B.C. – In the  three months since Prince George City Council  lifted the business license of the Connaught Motor Inn at 15th and Victoria,  calls for RCMP service  to  the  area have dropped by  67%.

RCMP Superintendent Warren Brown says  calls for service to  an area  in a 100 metre radius of  the site he  called a  crime hot spot,  dropped  by 50% in the first nine months of this year, compared to  the same period  last year.  He  credits the drop   in calls for  service entirely to the  closure of the Connaught.


Calls for service at Connaught and area -graph courtesy PG RCMP

The City  refused to renew the business license   for the Connaught Motor Inn  in July,  giving the  property owners a long list of conditions that would have to be met before that license would be reinstated.  The owners did not make the necessary changes by the initial October 1st deadline,  and while  work  that can be done without building  permits continues on the site,  there is  no telling when, or if, the property owners will be able to meet all the necessary conditions to
reopen their business.

“I would say that  at the end of the day, we have met our goal for ensuring community safety for not only the  vulnerable people who lived here, but also for those businesses and  other people who  frequent the area.” says Supt. Brown.

Mayor Lyn Hall says the reduced  calls for RCMP service to the area is “Extremely good news for us today”   he adds “This is something we were hoping would happen when we took action to suspend the Connaught’s business license.”  He says the calls for service  numbers were “staggering”  and that  the  amount of time RCMP had to spend  dealing with calls at the Connaught not only impacted the RCMP budget, but also  on what the RCMP could do in other areas of the City.

“This was not  just the first,  we continue this remedial action throughout the community” says  Mayor Hall   in fact,  the efforts  being undertaken to   force  property owners to clean up their  act  in Prince George, was the subject of a presentation by Mayor Hall at  last month’s  meeting of the Union of B.C. Municipalities.

By  shutting down the  Connaught, has crime  just moved to other areas?  Superintendent Warren Brown says no “I  have done  a thorough analysis of the City and we have other hot spots but  this (the Connaught) was likely the most focused and concentrated  area  for crime to happen in the community.”  Supt. Brown adds, “Specific to this location  because of the premise, it drew a particular crime type  to here,  so I will say, this was not complicated to deal with.  We have challenges in other areas, but it became one issue here which was responsible management.”

The  City  continues to wait for the owners of the Connaught to  meet the conditions for license renewal says Mayor  Hall “The ball is  certainly in his court.”

In the meantime, the owner does have a security   guard on the  premises to  ensure the  building does not become a haven for squatters,  and  continues to  make those  repairs and upgrades that can be done without  a building permit. “From our perspective we are hoping he ( the owner)  redevelops this corner, or sells this  corner to an investor who is interested in developing it” says Mayor  Hall.

Bylaw  Services Manager Fred Crittenden says  the owner still has the opportunity to meet the conditions “But we are still  waiting for confirmation on a work plan and permits he would require to get it up and running to satisfactory conditions that Council has approved.  If that happens, I think it would be a win- win for everyone.”







I am sure there are lots of other areas if you shut them down to people the crime rates will drop as well….
get rid of alcohol and the crime rates will plummet, but I can’t see that happening either as then they can’t pat themselves on the back. Right Mr Hall?

    I’m curious how would you suggest they get ride of alcohol? Maybe something like the prohibition in the US in the old days? Shut down all the pub’s, bars and liquor stores? I’m pretty sure that did not end crime.

      My comment was more referring to that fact they can use stats to whichever end they like.
      how is that saying…
      Figures don’t lie but liars can figure?
      well politicians can too.
      I never said they could end alcohol just that if it was ended so would a lot of crime.

This is a good news story. We need more hands on dealing with area’s where the law is flaunted.

Hopefully the Mayor and Council can come up with some sort of a solution to the downtown area, specifically that area on Third and George, where we have people sleeping in doorways, and basically camped on the sidewalks.

I’m sure that calls for service to the RCMP for this area would be second only to the Connaught, and therefore it logically follows that this area is a big cost to the police budget.

We need some sort of residence for the homeless, that serves people in a meaningful way, but also ensures that they are in a safe environment. Not sure what or how we would be able to do that.

We need to keep in mind that the better the facilities and care we have for the homeless, the more homeless we will attract, so in effect our solutions contribute to the problems.

Some Federal and Provincial money along with the City’s contribution is needed on a major scale to solve this problem.

Crime drops 50% in the 100 meter hot spot. So where have the criminals moved to?

    George Street, where stats aren’t kept.

If there was a corresponding reduction in the overall crime rate then this would be a very good news story. In fact the criminal element, and the crimes they were committing have simply been spread to other parts of the city.
The mere fact that you eliminate one playground does not eliminate the players, or for that matter even reduce their numbers. They simply move on to other playgrounds!

Got to love skewed statistics.. so crime just disappeared eh? Didn’t move to another part of town? Are we really this stupid?

Of course it moved to another part of town, however it is now not concentrated on one area. Seems to me that the police actually liked having all these people in one place because it was easier to find them.

In any event once you shine a light on these crime area’s the criminals scatter, and of course end up somewhere else. If it makes the job of the criminal a little tougher, then it has some benefit.

I still maintain that longer prison sentences is the best way to get them off the street for a while.

They don’t want to put them in jail because then they would have to look after them. Many of them would most likely sooner be sleeping in the jail rather than on the street. Maybe the government could use some of our carbon tax dollars to build housing for the homeless. If you are on welfare you cannot pay the high rental fees.

Brown and Hall declaring that there has not been an increase in crime elsewhere in the city reminds me of the provincial government claiming reduced overdose deaths as a direct result of their declaring a public health emergency.

Both of those statements smell like male bovine excrement to me.

    I agree

Some-one was in business here, has an investment, is put out of business because the police are called, and not because of the owner. Now they need to bring a forty plus year old building up to to-days building regulations, and fence the public out of their; a businesses parking lot. If the City wants to bring old buildings up to 2016 building regulations; 95% of all the buildings, east of Hi-way 97 to the rivers, that whole City core is forty plus years old.

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