The Vancouver Police Department has announced the creation of a new neighbourhood response team to act on calls from the public regarding disturbances and suspicious circumstances.
This comes after the VPD released the results of its survey regarding the perception of public safety in the city on Monday.
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The survey found that 78% of respondents are concerned about crime in Vancouver, with that number increasing to 84% for those living in the downtown core.
The majority of respondents (61%) agreed that crime has gotten worse in Vancouver over the past year, and one-third say they have changed their daily routines as a result.
The Downtown Eastside, Chinatown, Gastown and the Granville Entertainment District were listed as the top four neighbourhoods that respondents said they tried to avoid due to crime concerns.
“We review data and analytics on a daily basis to see how crime is trending, and where neighbourhood hot spots are. We use this information to determine police operations and to allocate resourcing,” stated VPD Deputy Chief Constable Howard Chow in a release.
“However, what we don’t get consistently is a sense of how individuals, families, and business owners feel on a day-to-day basis about neighbourhood safety. This survey gives us that view.”
The survey was conducted by independent market research and analytics company Leger in October and involved 755 respondents.
The VPD says the new response team involves officers and community safety personnel who were redeployed as of November 2.
“We know from experience that calls that [maybe] seem like low-level crime can be indicative of larger, criminal issues,” stated Chow.
“We want the public to call these in, because having police respond and deal with the issue, can increase the sense of safety on our streets.”