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Tag-Archive for ◊ public safety ◊

New data released to the Vancouver Police Board shows that 2014 is so far the safest year on record for pedestrians in Vancouver, dating back to the 1930s when safety data was first collected by the VPD.

“While even one incident is too many, it’s incredibly positive news to see that our streets are becoming significantly safer for pedestrians,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson, who serves as Chair of the Vancouver Police Board. “Pedestrian safety has been a big priority for City Council this term, with the implementation of our first-ever Pedestrian Safety Action Plan two years ago and the goal of zero pedestrian fatalities established by Council in the Transportation 2040 Plan.

“The VPD has done excellent work on enforcement of dangerous behaviour that puts pedestrians at risk, and ICBC has worked with the City and VPD as a leading advocate against distracted driving. Together we’re focusing our efforts on making Vancouver a safer city than ever before, and the numbers show our collective efforts are working.”

Data to date shows that there has only been 1 pedestrian fatality this year compared to 7 in 2013, with overall traffic fatalities (both pedestrians and non-pedestrians) down to 5 from 14 this time last year. The City is investing $7.5 million in 44 priority intersections for safety enhancements, including better lighting, wider sidewalks, dedicated left turn lanes and longer crossing times.

Vancouver streets are now also safer than ever from the threat of crime, with property crime and violent crime down over 20% since 2008 and last year resulting in the lowest homicide rate in the city’s history.

Following direction from the Mayor and City Council in 2011, the City of Vancouver now has an updated and comprehensive earthquake preparedness plan.

Council received a staff report today detailing 12 primary actions and 44 supporting actions to improve Vancouver’s preparedness for a major seismic event and strengthen the City’s capacity for response and recovery.

“City Hall is working harder than ever before to prepare Vancouver for a major earthquake, with essential steps to reduce risks of damage, boost our emergency response services and improve the safety of everyone who lives and works here,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Vancouver’s effective response and recovery from an earthquake will depend hugely on residents and businesses taking their own initiative, and it’s crucial that every home and workplace in Vancouver is prepared in advance with an emergency plan and earthquake kit.”

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MAYOR’S REMARKS, WITH CHIEF CONSTABLE JIM CHU
Vancouver Police Department, September 13th 2013
- Check against delivery - 

>> Click here for the full release from the Vancouver Police Department

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Good morning, thank you for being here.

Today, the Chief and I are issuing a public call around a situation that has reached a crisis point in Vancouver.

It’s one that we have grappled with for a number of years, but it has escalated to the point that we need to go public and state clearly that, today, Vancouver is embroiled in a public health crisis due to untreated, severe mental illness.

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The 2012 Crime Severity Index (CSI) report released today by Statistics Canada shows that the City of Vancouver is continuing to see significant reductions in violent crime that outpace the rest of the country.

While the CSI report indicates that violent crime was down 3% Canada-wide and down 5% across British Columbia from 2011 to 2012, the City of Vancouver saw a decline in violent crime of 6.9% in the same period.

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“As the Mayor of Vancouver I remain strongly supportive of Insite and the significant positive impact that it has had both in the lives of its users and for our broader community. With over 1.8 million visits in its ten years of operation, Insite has become an indispensable public health resource for thousands of our region’s most vulnerable residents, and a crucial component of our work to tackle addiction with prevention, treatment, and referrals to additional social and health services.

“Vancouver’s supervised injection site was launched after extensive dialogue in the local area and with thorough city-wide debate, and its programming continues to be shaped with ongoing input from nearby residents, businesses, and service organizations.

“Especially in light of the Supreme Court’s affirmation of the program’s proven ability to prevent overdose deaths and the spread of disease, I am strongly opposed to any legislative or regulatory changes which would impede Insite’s successful operations.”

- Mayor Gregor Robertson

City council approved two grants today that will enable key service providers in the Downtown Eastside to expand their operations, providing better support for low-income renters and vulnerable sex trade workers.

A grant of $400,000 to the WISH Drop-In Centre will facilitate an expansion of their space and better accommodate services to vulnerable survival sex workers, while a grant of $8,000 to the Aboriginal Community Career Employment Services Society (ACCESS) will enable the continued operation of a Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) in the Downtown Eastside.

“Council is strongly committed to protecting vulnerable residents in the Downtown Eastside and supporting low-income renters,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “These two grants reflect the City’s continued resolve to improve safety for women in the Downtown Eastside and help address challenges with affordable rental housing.”

Based at 330 Alexander Street, WISH serves approximately 400 women in the community on an on-going basis through the Drop-in Centre and other associated programming. Many of their clients are homeless or live in unstable housing; are marginalized within the community and often have serious health issues or addictions.

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