Langley City needs a better night life if residents are going to feel safer after hours, said Coun. Nathan Pachal, chair of the Crime Prevention Task Force, after council approved a series of crime prevention recommendations.
“The (task force) has heard from residents that they’re not comfortable during evening hours,” Pachal told the Times.
“We’ve got to change that.”
By better night life, Pachal said the task force isn’t talking about night clubs.
The goal, he said, is to have “more people doing positive things … things you can do past 5 p.m.”
That would improve the perception of safety and help discourage unsavoury activities, he said.
The task force recommendations adopted by council call for better lighting and more evening activities, especially in parks and pathways.
“It’s taking back public spaces,” Pachal said.
For this year, the plan lists four top initiatives, including the addition of “attractive night lighting in the downtown core … guided floodplain group walking tours … a program to keep trails clean … and a graffiti wall … to help prevent unwanted graffiti in problem areas.”
The graffiti wall would not be a permanent structure, council was told.
City staff will investigate the feasibility of implementing the four initiatives this calendar year.
Longer term, the proposals suggest additional lighting in laneways and the floodplain to encourage their use after dark; guided floodplain group walking tours during evening times that highlight nature and wildlife; a BMX Jam Night at Penzer Park; community street parties; yoga in the park; lawn bowling; more community gardens and creating a “Buy and Sell Zone” by Langley RCMP similar to that offered by the Abbotsford police for safe exchange of goods bought and sold online.
Pachal said the City will also be signing up volunteers for a “know your neighbour” crime prevention campaign during the fourth annual series of neighbourhood meetings that are currently underway.
The Simonds and Blacklock neighbourhood meeting took place Tuesday.
The Douglas and Nicomekl neighbourhood meeting is set for Tuesday, May 8 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Douglas Park Community School Gym at 5409 206 St., Langley
The Uplands and Alice Brown Neighbourhood Meeting is set for Wednesday, May 16, at the Alice Brown Elementary School Gym at 20011 44 Ave. from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The online schedule invites residents to meet and engage with City council representatives, learn more about community projects and provide feedback on upcoming initiatives in your community.
The Langley RCMP will be in attendance.
A neighbourhood-specific update will be provided at 6:15 p.m. at each meeting about the projects accomplished in 2017 and what residents should expect in 2018.
An open house format with all City departments present will follow.
All residents are welcome and no reservation is required.