Property audits among measures available to merchants
The Vanier BIA is arming its merchants with the tools they need to become leaders in crime prevention this summer.
The BIA recently met with the area’s community police officer, Crime Prevention Vanier, the Vanier Community Association and local merchants in a proactive approach to reducing crime in the district.
“The BIA and its merchants understand the important role we play in crime prevention,” said Nathalie Carrier, the executive director of the Vanier BIA. “Our approach is to get our merchants the tools they need to contribute to crime prevention,” she added.
The BIA will be offering monthly tips and advice for merchants looking for guidance or new ideas in how to make their business – and wider community – safer.
This work builds on several existing projects and partnerships, including those with the area’s community police officer, Cst. Vianney Calixte, to conduct audits under a program known as “Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design.”
These audits help identify physical and design changes that can help reduce crime, such as cutting back overgrown shrubs, improving parking lot lighting and creating better sightlines around a property.
“We all understand that a safer neighbourhood is not only good for its people, but also for its businesses,” Carrier said.
Simply adding lighting is one of the most common suggestions made by Lucie Marleau, the founder of Crime Prevention Vanier. A well-lit parking lot is far less likely to attract undesirable activity than one shrouded in darkness, she said.
Marleau has worked to improve safety in the community for more than a decade and created Crime Prevention Vanier to complement the work undertaken by Crime Prevention Ottawa.
“Experience has taught us that our crime prevention efforts can only be effective and sustainable if every actor plays their part,” Marleau said, explaining that it takes more than just police officers and city officials to make an area safe.
“No crime happens in a vacuum, and each crime touches all of us living (and) working in Vanier in tangible and less tangible ways,” Marleau said.
This team-based approach is also embraced by the Vanier Community Association, which supports the BIA’s efforts to share crime-prevention tools with merchants.
“Business are an important part of our community, and our residents are part of their clientele,” said Lauren Touchant, president of the community association. “We are deeply interrelated therefore, we all have a responsibility to keep our neighbourhood safe and we hope these tips and tricks will better equip business owners.”
Keep an eye out for the latest crime prevention tips and tricks in the BIA’s monthly e-newsletter. Businesses can also visit CrimePreventionOttawa.ca or ensemblepourvanier.com for a full list of crime prevention tools.