Community safety plan

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Community safety is identified as a top priority for citizens and City Council. On Sept, 28 Council endorsed development of a community safety plan to generate shared ownership, vision and action among the range of government ministries and community organizations critical to community safety.

The planning process will engage community stakeholders, partners and Kelowna residents in order to identify and validate community safety issues and priorities as well as develop new ways of measuring, monitoring and reporting progress. 

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About the Plan

Kelowna’s Community Safety Plan will form the basis for an overall multi-pronged, systems-based approach improve community safety in our City, which includes improving residents’ sense of safety.

Since 2017 when Ontario legislated municipalities to develop and implement community safety plans, they have become increasingly common across Canada. There is no single approach or form that Community Safety Plans take, though all seek to engage a cross-section of government and non-governmental leaders in a process designed to establish a shared vision and a shared action plan for change.

Framework

Among others, the plan will provide a framework to:

  • Engage and align relevant community stakeholders, systems and partners
  • Identify and validate community safety issues and priorities
  • Uncover local assets and identify risk factors underlying local community safety issues
  • Outline tangible, evidence-based actions through multi-system / agency approaches
  • Develop new ways of measuring, monitoring and reporting progress
Objectives

The development of the City of Kelowna Community Safety Plan will be guided by the following overarching project objectives:

  • Activate future partnerships to deliver community safety strategies and outcomes, while also building future governance for ongoing coordination and integration from systems leaders
  • Confirm the scope of the police role in delivering on community safety strategies and outcomes and the roles of other agencies engaged in community safety
  • Ensure evidence-based actions and meaningful, multi-sectoral metrics exist within the Community Safety Plan
  • Align with existing City of Kelowna commitments and outcomes for community well-being and inclusion (e.g. Journey Home Strategy, Healthy Housing Strategy, Imagine Kelowna)
Principles

Other principles and considerations that will shape the development of a made-in Kelowna Community Safety Plan  follow:

  • Community safety and crime reduction are not the responsibilities of police, alone. Shared ownership and responsibility among "upstream" systems/partners, among other, is critical to ensure individuals, families and communities experiencing risk factors are identified earlier, and receiving timelier, targeted and effective preventative supports before requiring urgent and costly intervention/emergency response.
  • Broad based senior leadership is essential to the success and sustainability of city-wide community safety efforts. As such, a Steering Committee comprised of senior government designates with responsibilities for systems/institutions relevant to a Kelowna Community Safety Plan will be relied upon to develop and champion a shared vision for change.
  • A Kelowna Community Safety Plan  will align with existing local social policy work (i.e., Imagine Kelowna, Healthy Cities Initiative, Social Policy Framework and Journey Home Strategy) completed/underway, but not overlap or duplicate
  • The Project Management Team and Steering Committee will rely on existing data from a range of credible sources, including partnering agencies, to develop the relevant profile of our community, identify and validate community safety issues, and to drive the development of tangible, evidence-based and action-oriented responses
  • The Community Safety Plan  process will build upon, but not duplicate, results from recent and relevant stakeholder engagements (i.e., Imagine Kelowna, Journey Home Strategy, tiered policing review, Intelligent Cities, and community safety survey); therefore, focused and timely engagement strategies will be employed
  • A Kelowna Community Safety Plan will vigilantly maintain a direct line of sight to community safety outcomes including reduced crime and victimization, along with increased sense of safety (from crime)
    • The risk factors and root causes affecting community safety are broad and often multi-generational. Identifying issues and actions that are most directly linked to current community issues and those most likely to have the desired impacts in the short to medium term will be the focus.
Process

A Project Management Team will provide the necessary support and management of the project and the Steering Committee will provide advice and guidance throughout the development of a draft Community Safety Plan for Council consideration and approval.

Steering Committee

Developing a draft CSP will also rely on the expertise and active contribution of a Steering Committee, comprised of representatives from government agencies positioned to leverage the systems-based changes necessary to enhance community safety in our City. Supported and directed by the PMT, the Steering Committee will provide advice and guidance throughout the development of a draft CSP for Council consideration and approval.

Public engagement

In addition to research and engagement through the Steering Committee, stakeholder engagement will include a range of organizations / agencies representing the business and social sectors, Indigenous Peoples, faith groups, seniors, youth, people with lived experience and more. The general public will have an opportunity for input in Winter 2021.

Timing

Get organized: August-October

  • Appoint Steering Committee
  • Community Safety Plan outline
  • Steering Committee Meeting 1 Scheduled

Collect and analyse: September-October

  • Steering Commitee interviews
  • Community profile
  • Steering Committee meeting

Develop strategic directions and actions: October-December

  • Council workshop
  • Community focus groups
  • Steering Committee strategic planning meeting
  • Steering Committee findings meeting

Develop priorities, actions, timelines and metrics: December-Spring 2021

  • Council workshop on focus group findings
  • Public survey
  • Community Safety Plan framework
  • Steering Committee findings meeting
  • Council workshop on survey findings

Draft and finalize Community Safety Plan: Spring 2021

  • Draft plan
  • Solicit feedback from Steering Committee
  • Finalize plan