Late Night…Great Night

November 19, 2009 at 12:50 am Leave a comment

The City of Victoria released the findings of its Task Force looking into the problem of late night rowdyism in Downtown. Headed by Mayor Fortin, Councillor Thornton-Joe and Chief Graham, they took a wide-ranging look at the causes and solutions of public disorder caused primarily by over consumption of alcohol.

The report can be downloaded from the City’s website.

As I said to Monday Magazine:

Downtown Residents’ Association president Rob Randall feels his organization’s concerns were listened to and incorporated into the report.

“We’re optimistic that we’re going to see a concerted effort to follow up on it, to really follow through on the things we can do, like the taxi stands and the busses . . . and to keep hammering away on those things that we don’t really have control over, like the fines for liquor.”

The need for more liquor inspectors giving more frequent inspections is another thing the Province will have to help with. BC Transit and the taxi commission also will play a big role.

The most interesting thing I heard at the press conference Monday was Chief Graham’s explanation of a more “welcoming” police presence. It’s thought that mere enhanced enforcement is not as effective as simply having a police presence that appears non-threatening. The chief said that in Vancouver, his former domain, several officers from England (specifically Manchester) have been hired recently. These new officers brought with them an alternate way of dealing with the late night crowd that made use of the officer’s gift for verbally diffusing potentially difficult situations. In addition, simply walking the beat and making eye and verbal contact with bar-goers ensured that police interaction with the public was more than just wading into melees and breaking up fights.

This is not to say they will go soft. On the contrary, police (with the help of reserve officers) will actively enforce bylaws and hand out tickets and deal with troublemakers, and with four new dedicated Downtown cops they will have the manpower to follow through. But their role will be more than just showing up after the trouble starts.

I be on C-FAX today, November 19, at 12:30-1 p.m. discussing the report.

Entry filed under: City Hall, media, social issues.

Victoria to bid for 2014 Juno awards? Drunken rowdyism? Fine!

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