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October 27, 2017 5:06 pm

Keeping an Eye on Downtown

Thursday, June 15, 2017 @ 5:59 AM

Prince George, B.C. – Should there be  surveillance cameras in downtown Prince George?

That’s a question  City Councillor Brian Skakun would like  answered.

Skakun has  previously  suggested  surveillance cameras be set up  in  greenspaces  in the City to  capture images of  illegal dumpers,  and  has posed the idea to  add security cameras to public spaces  to  “Downtown Prince George” the Downtown Business Improvement Association.  “It’s something I’ve talked about for a while” says Skakun” “and it’s something that  I might pursue.” Councillor  Skakun made the comments  during the DBIA’s  presentation to  Mayor and Council  Monday night.

“I think it’s long  overdue that we look at that, ’cause when people know, there’s signs up there, whether it’s illegal dumping,  they see the possible surveillance in the area, people take a second  before they  do something” says Skakun.

But  DBIA President,  Eoin Foley  says members of the DBIA are encouraged to  take  a variety of security measures “We encourage members to  make sure exterior lighting on the businesses are working,  that there is visibility from  inside and outside,  that they cut off any gaping holes  from the back alley  by  gating them off .  Security cameras specifically, I know  many businesses have them  and  the RCMP  will immediately,  if there is an issue, will go and request   video footage”.  He made no commitment to polling the members about  security cameras on the streets of downtown.

But Skakun is specifically talking about having  security cameras in public areas and would like to see the DBIA  poll its membership on how they feel about  adding  security cameras  to the streetscape.   Skakun says he  may pursue the matter either through a notice of motion  through Council, or  a combination of  a notice of motion and  results from a DBIA survey.





“Illegal dumping.” Would that include discarded needles, condoms and drug paraphernalia? If not, would make for some boring videos.

Put a camera just below Connaught Hill on Patricia Blvd. where the intoxicated folks would rather ‘climb’ the hill instead of using the stairs.. someone will have some laughs, particularly in the winter months lol. Put the cameras in key locations. 2nd and 3rd Ave at George Street..

Now now, we don’t want to infringe on the rights of the homeless, criminals, drug abusers and prostitutes, that would be wrong. You want to continue giving them more rights and leeway than the hard working tax payer. Maybe we can give them more free drugs and needles, and just raise the price of epi-pens even more? I mean, screw the innocent kids, lets just not step on the rights of the criminal element any further.

There are a number of business’s that have camera’s that monitor their property.
In my opinion that’s as far as surveillance should go.

Having public places and private citizens under surveillance is another question entirely. Some business’s are putting up razor wire around their property. So are we trying to reproduce an East Germany, or North Korea.??

I have a suggestion. Why don’t we use our law enforcement officers and peace officers to enforce the laws that are already on the books. Seems we now want to use these resources to enforce smoking and vaping bylaws. Duhhhhh?

The City shut down the Quinn St., transfer station, and by doing so they helped create this dumping problem.

We need to reinstate Quinn St., and it should be FREE.

    I agree on the reinstating Quinn Street!! Big time, the sani station was a huge expense to put in, and now it sits un-used.

    I agree that the Quinn St transfer station should never have been closed and this with other bad policies involving the Regional District landfill site are the primary source of our illegal dumping problem. The solution isn’t creating a police state to solve a simple problem created by inept politicians.

Intense lighting in every street and alley of the downtown area is the answer. It has been proven in other jurisdictions that street people and thieves don’t like light. Citizens would come back to the downtown to enjoy the fine dining and pub atmosphere without being accosted. The cost of the lighting would be far less than the police expense. If it is not comfortable for the street people they will move. Lighting up all of the dark areas and eliminating the hiding spots is the answer. IMO

    Normally I would agree with that statement… but I just got back from visiting Victoria, which puts that notion to a challenge. Never have I seen so many homeless and destitute begging for change… all within the primary tourist district with excellent lighting. I thought it was far worse than PG. In PG they don’t come up to you and demand money like they do in Victoria.

how about charging all the downtown businesses a surcharge to help pay for all the police responses like they did for the Connaught Inn?

    Yes start with that LGBQ nightclub at 3rd and George and their uni bathroom policy, which is designed to incite problems. I hear they are one of the top spots for calls to the RCMP due to the policies and clientele they involve themselves with.

      Interesting. So you “hear” this from whom?

      Unless you attend, how would you know and why would you care?

      Yes I did attend once. After a Christmas party me and my wife ended up there with some friends that wanted to sing karaoke. I thought the whole situation was outrageous. Who ever heard of a nightclub that doesn’t have a dedicated girls washroom?

      Instead they have a uni bathroom only and the guys urinal is a step up so it overlooks the girls toilet. Then they have a policy where they will not allow a women to use the bathroom alone and allow any creep man to try and pea with a view. Its total creep bait, and if you won’t stand for it they will kick you out because you don’t respect their rights.

      It is outrageous… the police agreed when they showed up… said its a real common call for them to attend that location over dumb issues like that. I would never go back thats for sure. I’ve talked to other women that have attended and they say as well that its a real creep show that uni bathroom idea in a nightclub.

      So do they contribute to the high policing costs from the dysfunction in that part of town? You bet they do.

Racer, that would be patently unfair.In the case of the Connaught Inn, they were the cause of the increased police calls simply by way of their mismanagement of their property. In the downtown case, there are a few entities that account for 99% of the police calls. The needle exchange, the firepit drop in centre, the soup kitchen on second avenue, and the courthouse are where the homeless, and the thieves tend to congregate. The rest of downtown is really collateral damage from the presence of these entities. Perhaps full-time foot patrols in the downtown area is an answer! I would have no problem with cameras, along with higher intensity lighting being positioned throughout the downtown core.

    and all those storefronts down by the court house don’t attract those types? really?

Why can’t there be foot patrols in the ‘downtown area’?? There used to be bike patrols, what happened to them, in the downtown areas?

Installing cameras to help prevent dumping will only push the scumbags further out of town. Much of the garbage dumped in outlying areas is dumped there by people that live there.

Racer…tell me what the tenants and or owners of those storefronts are doing to attract that element there! Nothing at all. It is, in fact, the other entities that I mentioned in my earlier post that is attracting the thieves, homeless and derelicts there. Should I be punished simply because someone decides to sleep under cover on the sidewalk at the entrance to my store?

    Yes. You should provide a gate to stop accessing the alcove when the business is closed.

    In fact, when you look at downtown shops in cities in other parts of the world, you find many storefronts with solid roll shutters to prevent vandalism and access to alcoves.

I stated foot patrols about 2 months ago! Go back to the tried and true ABCs of combating crime! How about the bicycle patrols, is that still going on. Get the police off their duffs and get right down to the nitty gritty and be at one with the store owners, etc. Costs more to keep the police cars operational I would think, show some cost cutting measures and try something different there Superintendent instead of wasting and always asking for more!

This who we need…..
ht tps://www.nfb.ca/film/whistling_smith/

    1975 documentary …..

    An interesting film of the past.

    42 years later East Hastings looks worse.

    He did nothing other than getting his bullying jollies at the expense of street people.

    The salient moment in that NFB film was when he was in the Chinese restaurant and an older fellow came into the frame from the left telling him his methods are inappropriate and how the Europeans don’t act in that bullying fashion.

    2009 NFB film … 34 years later, same location, same problems, different tactics, including an awareness raising program for high school students.

    ht tps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTH1rbTeqyg – 6 part series

    Insite – safe injection site on East Hastings

    ht tps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlLnhes5nqs#t=270.134713

    Working with drug addicts.

      Well its not working. I drove by there last week and it was just a horrible third world scene. East Hastings was blocked off to traffic because a street protest… and people were right out of their minds. One guy had a half dozen cops standing around him I guess waiting for the guy to tire out… he was just flailing all over doing a cross between a trans dance and the chicken and looked half dead already. If that is success than I don’t know what else to say.

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