Pillars of Public Safety
For over a year, Jason Cox has been hosting Town Hall Meetings, going door to door and engaging with relevant groups, committees and key community partners in order to form the goals and priorities of “Our Penticton's Public Safety Strategy”. The priorities reflect leading approaches to crime reduction and situational crime prevention, capacity building and education initiatives for early intervention, and integration of services that address the root causes of vulnerability in the community.
The four priorities of Our Penticton's Public Safety Strategy are:
1. Prevent and Reduce Crime
Protecting people and property in Penticton is a priority under this strategy. This involves effective enforcement, timely response, and the diligent and collaborative efforts of multiple stakeholders, community organizations and criminal justice professionals. Mayor and council also must partner with other municipalities to lobby the provincial government for more meaningful sentences for repeat offenders.
2. Ensure Safe Places
An important element of the plan is ensuring that people feel safe and can enjoy the variety of physical spaces where they spend their lives. This includes design considerations for the use of transit sites and roadways, commercial areas, residential neighbourhoods, and public spaces and parks, as well as place‐based crime prevention initiatives. Ensuring safe places is part of creating a vibrant, inclusive, thriving community.
3. Build Community Capacity
Building capacity of the individuals and the systems in the community increases resilience and reduces vulnerability. Working through early intervention and education programs for children and youth, as well as ensuring individuals and neighbourhoods are prepared for emergencies, it is possible to increase the ability of the community to prevent and respond to crime, crises and vulnerabilities.
4. Support Vulnerable People
When vulnerable persons receive support and develop increased capacity for healthy, safe living, this often leads to a reduction in criminal activity and reduced demand on social services and policing. Addressing some of the underlying root causes of vulnerability, such as persistent social challenges like housing and income insecurity, mental health issues and substance use will support vulnerable people to make positive life changes and become contributing members of our inclusive community.