Community Safety and Wellbeing: A Different Approach to Crime in Regina

Regina needs a new approach to addressing the crime problem that effects our community. This doesn't mean taking a tough, law-and-order stance. This means responding to the root causes, rather than forcing the Regina Police Service to shoulder all of the responsibility. For these reasons, I am proud to have co-sponsored this motion with my Council colleagues Murray, Bresciani, Findura, Mancinelli, Flegel, and Hawkins. For a snapshot of potential options before us, and the problems associated with the status quo, check out this important episode of the Fifth Estate, which was filmed in North Central, called "The Hood: Cops, Gangs, and the Community in the Crossfire." The solution ahead involves community engagement and community-directed initiatives, public education, anti-gang initiatives, poverty reduction, and other social determinant measures. It's time for the City of Regina to take a leadership role. There's no silver bullet, but we need to start somewhere.

Re: Community Safety and Wellbeing

WHEREAS the Official Community Plan recognizes that “Health and safety are key elements in ensuring that Regina remains a city of choice in which to live, work, and raise a family”;

WHEREAS Regina, along with other prairie cities, routinely rank as experiencing the highest crime severity index and rates in Canada;

WHEREAS the Police Chiefs in Saskatoon and Regina acknowledge that we cannot arrest or police our way out of the root causes of crime, but they are nonetheless shouldered with the responsibility of reacting to these problems;

WHEREAS community safety and wellbeing is a City and community issue, not just the responsibility of the Regina Police Service;

WHEREAS crime in our city can be attributed to social issues like poverty, homelessness, inequality, addictions, mental health issues, among other factors;

WHEREAS a harm reduction and social determinant approach is required to address the causes of crime in our community; and

WHEREAS many neighbourhoods throughout the city have witnessed an increase in crime, thus impacting safety in our community;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Administration return to the Priorities and Planning Committee in Q4 of 2020 with a Community Safety and Wellbeing Report, which:

  1. Identifies the roles and responsibilities of all three levels of government;
  2. Identifies ways in which the City of Regina can take a leadership role in making communities safer;
  3. Identifies the role of harm reduction, anti-gang, anti-poverty, employment and other strategies in addressing the underlying causes of crime in our communities;
  4. Explores opportunities to partner with policing, crime, and harm reduction experts, community-based organizations, and community associations;
  5. Identifies the value of, and potential terms of reference for a Community Safety and Wellbeing Advisory Committee;
  6. Includes a framework for information sharing and collaboration between community groups and associations, the Regina Police Service, and the City of Regina; and
  7. Identifies potential short and long-term action items.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

________________

 

Andrew Stevens                      Lori Bresciani                          Joel Murray

Councillor - Ward 3                Councillor – Ward 4                Councillor – Ward 6

 

Jason Mancinelli                     Jerry Flegel                             Bob Hawkins             

Councillor – Ward 9                Councillor – Ward 10              Councillor – Ward 2   

 

John Findura                          

Councillor – Ward 5