Community Safety Plan
Community safety is a top priority for Kelowna citizens and City Council. On April 11, 2022, Council endorsed Kelowna's first-ever Community Safety Plan (CSP).
The CSP is a five-year action plan focused on proactive actions to reduce risk, vulnerability and harm in our community. Through the engagement of local systems leaders, including First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), Kelowna RCMP, Interior Health, the Ministry of Children & Family Development, the Ministry of Social Development & Poverty Reduction, and School District #23, the CSP reflects a shared vision and collective commitment to actions that will improve community safety and sense of safety.
Kelowna’s CSP forms the basis for a multi-pronged, systems-based approach to improve community safety and well-being in our city, which includes improving residents’ sense of safety.
CSPs have become increasingly common in Canada since 2017, when Ontario legislated municipalities in that province develop and implement them. There is no single approach or format that CSPs must take, though all seek to engage a cross-section of government and non-governmental leaders to establish a shared vision and a shared action plan for change.
Among other things, Kelowna's CSP provides 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 taken through multi-system and agency approaches
- Develop new ways of measuring, monitoring and reporting progress
The Kelowna CSP is guided by the following overarching objectives:
- To develop partnerships that deliver community safety strategies and outcomes, while building governance structures for ongoing coordination and integration among systems leaders
- To confirm the scope of the police role in delivering community safety strategies and outcomes, and the roles of other agencies engaged in community safety
- To ensure actions taken are based on evidence, and evidence is informed by meaningful metrics from many sectors
- To 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)
Other principles and considerations that shape the development of a made-in Kelowna CSP include:
- Community safety and crime reduction are not the responsibility of police, alone. Shared ownership and responsibility among "upstream" systems and partners helps ensure individuals, families and communities experiencing risk factors get the support they need. They are identified earlier and get timelier, targeted and more effective support so they do not need costly intervention or emergency response down the line
- Broad-based senior leadership is essential to the success and sustainability of city-wide community safety efforts. As such, a steering committee composed of senior government designates with responsibilities for systems / institutions relevant to a Kelowna CSP will develop and champion a shared vision for change
- A Kelowna CSP will align with existing local social policy work (e.g. Imagine Kelowna, Healthy Cities Initiative, Social Policy Framework and Journey Home Strategy) that is currently complete or underway, but will not overlap or duplicate those efforts
- The project management team and steering committee rely on existing data from a range of credible sources in compiling the CSP. These aid in developing the relevant profile of our community, and in identifying and validating community safety issues, and driving the creation of tangible, evidence-based and action-oriented responses
- The CSP process will build upon, but not duplicate, results from recent and relevant stakeholder engagements (e.g. Imagine Kelowna, Journey Home Strategy, tiered policing review, Intelligent Cities, and community safety survey), and additional, focused and timely engagement strategies will be employed
- A Kelowna CSP is focused on positive community safety outcomes, including reduced crime and victimization, along with an increased sense of safety
- The risk factors and root causes affecting community safety are broad and often multi-generational. The CSP will focus on actions most directly linked to current community issues and those most likely to have the desired impacts in the short to medium term.
A project management team, made up of City employees and contractors, supported and managed the development of the Kelowna CSP, with guidance from the steering committee.
The CSP steering committee is composed of senior representatives from the First Nations Health Authority, Interior Health, the Ministry of Children & Family Development, the Ministry of Social Development & Poverty Reduction, Kelowna RCMP, School District #23 and the City of Kelowna. They are all leaders who can effect the systems-based changes necessary to enhance community safety in our city. They met for the first time on Jan. 11, 2021.
The steering committee is supported by the project management team, composed of City employees and CMNCP personnel.
In addition to research and engagement through the steering committee, stakeholder engagement included a range of organizations and agencies representing the business and social sectors, Indigenous Peoples, faith groups, seniors, youth, people with lived experience and more.
Community stakeholders provided input in July and August, 2021.
April 2021: Start & Orientation
- Review of work done to date
- Develop work plan
April to May 2021: Community Consultations
- Goal to strengthen quantitative data
May-June 2021: Steering Committee
- Goal to incorporate leadership and guidance
- Session 1: May 5 - Re-engage / Directions
- Session 2: June 1 - Identifying key themes
June 2021: Validation Consultations
- Goal to validate quantitative and qualitative data
- Five virtual consultations
- Validate (prioritize / identify solutions)
June 2021: Kelowna City Council
- Goal to update, validate and prioritize
July-August 2021: Public Validation Survey
- Goal of gain community input, validate data and priorities
- Targeted, online community survey to rate and input solutions
September-December 2021: Develop draft report
- Refine and revise CSP priorities and action items
- Refine performance measurements and governance
- Present final report to Council