News

Pitt Meadows launches City Watch crime reduction program

Lesley Elchuk, bylaws officer with the City of Pitt Meadows, and RCMP Cnst. Krista Doncaster, watch as Pitt Meadows Mayor Don MacLean puts a City Watch sticker on a municipal vehicle outside the Pitt Meadows RCMP detachment Monday.  - Colleen Flanagan/The News
Lesley Elchuk, bylaws officer with the City of Pitt Meadows, and RCMP Cnst. Krista Doncaster, watch as Pitt Meadows Mayor Don MacLean puts a City Watch sticker on a municipal vehicle outside the Pitt Meadows RCMP detachment Monday.
— image credit: Colleen Flanagan/The News

Pitt Meadows became the newest community in B.C. to adopt a City Watch program Monday morning.

The CUPE B.C.-sponsored program seeks to prevent and reduce crime in the province’s municipalities, while also building a stronger sense of community.

“City Watch makes safer communities, which equals stronger communities,” CUPE B.C. Secretary-Treasurer Mark Hancock said while introducing the program Monday outside the Pitt Meadows Community Policing Office against the playful screams of children playing in the neighbouring daycare.

“It’s about working together and looking at what can be achieved.”

Standing in front of a white van, Pitt Meadows Mayor Don MacLean placed the first City vehicle sticker on it.

Local CUPE employees will work with the Ridge Meadows RCMP to train members on how to identify and document suspicious or criminal activities in the neighbourhoods, encouraging a general awareness to suspicious activities.

The program emphasizes watching and reporting over intervening. Residents are also encouraged to watch out for their community.

According to MacLean, most of the crime in Pitt Meadows is what he calls opportunity crimes, like unlocked car doors or exposed valuable items.

“A crime only needs three things: a criminal, a victim, and an opportunity,” said MacLean. “This program takes that opportunity away.”

The implementation of the program resulted in lower crime rates in the nearly 30 B.C. communities that have already adopted it, according to Hancock.

Sixty CUPE employees, in addition to the current police presence, who drive the streets of Pitt Meadows will watch for unusual behaviour.

“I think it’ll make a difference,” said Teddy Rasmussen, CUPE Local 622 Chief Stop Steward. “Just knowing we’re out there will be enough to deter potential criminals.”

Increased presence on the streets is one part of the program. CUPE B.C. will continue to take feedback from local and community members about how the program can adopt to the specific needs of the area.

For one, MacLean would like to see training for council.

“We’re out and about in the community as well, so it’d be good if we could be trained,” said MacLean. “It’s all an effort to make the community more pedestrian-friendly. As a community becomes more pedestrian friendly, the crime rate decreases.”

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

B.C. Muslim Association speaks out on gunman
 
Downtown march of carnage
 
Maple Ridge man charged with break-and-enter, theft
Election 2014: No to sprawl – Brown
 
UPDATE: 2 confirmed dead in Marysville, Washington school shooting
 
Poll finds Lower Mainland voters ready to shake up city halls
South Surrey businesses victims of smash-and-grab robbers
 
Election 2014: Surrey school candidates debate education
 
Police seek Surrey taxi robbery suspect

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 24 edition online now. Browse the archives.