The Safer Parking Initiative today announced the graduation of 17 newly trained officers and civilian police coordinators from police organizations including Vancouver, Victoria, Oak Bay, Abbotsford, Langley, and from the Lower Mainland Integrated Protection Services.
Since its inception, the Initiative, spearheaded by the Vancouver Police Department and Canadian Direct Insurance, has helped reduce crime by an average of 47 per cent in designated parkades, with many facilities reporting zero-crime occurrences.
"The initiative's success in reducing crime is a key factor in the demand to expand it in Vancouver and bring it to other areas outside of the downtown Vancouver core where it was initiated over four years ago," according to Doug LePard, VPD deputy chief.
The Safer Parking Initiative training program is a first at the Justice Institute of British Columbia and will now be held yearly. Previously, the specialized training was held in the UK or by an experienced trainer from the UK, where the Safer Parking Scheme, an initiative of the U.K. Association of Chief Police Officers, originated and provided a foundation for the Vancouver program.
The Safer Parking Initiative embodies cooperative measures to maximize vehicle security in downtown parking lots, by creating a set of safety guidelines and measures such as improved lighting, security patrols, signage and surveillance to ward off thieves and discourage disorderly behavior.
"Fear of crime or anti-social behaviour is a key factor for motorists when deciding where to park," said Colin Brown, chief operating officer of Canadian Direct Insurance. "To be a member of the Safer Parking Initiative, parking lot operators must put in place measures that help to deter criminal activity and anti-social behaviour, thereby doing everything they can to prevent crime and reduce the fear of crime in their parking area. Best standards for security include everything from lighting and colour schemes to security patrols and surveillance devices."
To help members of the public improve their personal safety when parking downtown, Canadian Direct Insurance posted the Top 10 Safety Tips for drivers at www.canadiandirect.com.
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