NOVEMBER 17, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW SAFETY COMMITTEE SETS ITS SIGHTS ON FURTHER IMPROVING SAFETY IN CITY’S CORE
Downtown Winnipeg – On the heels of a recently announced Downtown BIZ Community Feedback Report, the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Safety Committee has officially launched. The goal is to refresh the Downtown BIZ’s Safety Strategy as part of the renewal of the BIZ’s 3 year 2017-2019 plan. Additionally, the Safety Committee serves to further stimulate discussion around safety in the downtown and to further enhance and align the business community resources with the Winnipeg Police Service, and stakeholders.
Comprised of downtown business owners and community partners including Winnipeg Transit Authority, Manitoba Justice, Manitoba Liquor and Gaming Commission, the Winnipeg Police Service and more, the Safety Committee will help enhance existing safety programs like the Downtown Security Network (DSN), Downtown Watch, and Community Homeless Assistance Team (CHAT) and also discuss and innovate new strategies for the future.
What the BIZ is also hearing from the community is that it feels strongly that a comprehensive approach is required as the long-term solution in dealing with downtown social challenges, which in turn will address Downtown Safety concerns, for everyone. Crime prevention through social development is critical in dealing with this downtown issue.
Shawn Matthews, Manager of Safety and Development with the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ says “I am grateful and appreciative of the support and interest from the Safety Committee and the BIZ Board of Directors. These supporters, along with Amanda Chalmers (Supervisor, Safety and Development with the BIZ), and our team and I, are working together to support a safe downtown that attributes to a positive quality of life.”
“Downtown’s nighttime economy is growing. An increase in tourists, convention-goers, students, and more residents, means more people are living, working, and experiencing downtown, so it will take collaborative and collective impact towards taking downtown safety to the next level,” says Stefano Grande, CEO of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ. “Thankfully, many partners in our downtown are committed to improving downtown safety for everyone.”
“Downtown safety is a priority for downtown businesses and the public,” says Sachit Mehra, Chair of the Safety Committee and owner of East India Company. “While public perceptions are improving and downtown crime stats continue to decline over the last several years, the growth of our downtown needs a pro-active approach to managing safety in the future.”
“We continue to also spark conversations among community leaders and partner to create action plans to move forward broad solutions to end homelessness and deal with substance abuse,” says BIZ Chair, Deborah O’Bray. She continues, “These are issues that have emerged as a result of an abandoned downtown and inner city forty years ago. The efforts of revitalization, both in our downtown and inner city, are not complete until poverty is tackled through homes and jobs, the fundamental cornerstone of a healthy city. It takes time to regain what was lost. It takes patience, sustained policy and commitment. We’re eager to continue working with our partners and the community to build a better city,”
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For more information, please contact:
Tineke de Jong
Director of Marketing, Events and Communications
Downtown Winnipeg BIZ