Committee Name: Vanier Safety Committee
Type: Ad hoc committee
Chair: Lauren Touchant
Responsible To: The association Board of directors on a monthly basis
Purpose: To contribute to enhanced community safety and Crime Prevention in Vanier through collaborative efforts with our neighbours, community partners and city services.
Timeframes: From September to June; meeting frequency determined by the needs of the committee or as requested by the Board.
Composition of committee: Residents of Vanier and VCA Board Members
A safe and secure neighbourhood for all citizens who live, work and play in Vanier.
To contribute to enhanced community safety and Crime Prevention in Vanier through collaborative efforts with our neighbours, community partners and city services.
The Vanier Safety Committee (VSC) is a volunteer-driven citizen body that focuses on safety and crime prevention practices in the neighbourhood of Vanier. Overall, the VSC facilitates the coordination of safety related activities and provides a forum to discuss, and help mitigate, emerging safety concerns in the community.
Goals and objectives
Vanier Safety Committee (VSC) aims to achieve, but does not limit itself to, the following goals:
- Implement targeted safety, well-being, and beautification initiatives and events in the neighbourhood;
- Work collaboratively with stakeholders towards the common goal of overall community safety;
- Provide a platform for residents to discuss, and share information on, key issues affecting public safety and security in the community;
- Raise awareness about crime trends in Vanier;
- Conduct, collect information, and support research/surveys on key issues affecting public safety;
- Advocate for, and implement, crime prevention and enforcement measures in Vanier based on reliable data and information; and
- Develop and disseminate crime prevention and safety information and tools to raise awareness to the community at large.
- Safe handling and disposal of needles
- Arson fire prevention & protection tips
- Light your porch! * Free energy efficient lightbulbs for residents of Vanier
- Markers of a potential problem location
- Tips to prevent theft from vehicles
- Who to call / When to call
- Organizing a safe community event
- How to identify/report a potential ‘’John’’
- Graffiti: Don’t ignore it, report it!
- Graffiti Protocol
- Bicycle Theft Prevention
We are creating a number of easy to access tools to help Vanier residents prepare for any emergency.
We are creating a platform for East area neighbourhoods, based on proximity, which will include agreements for mutual support if one community is more affected than another.
VanierPrêt / VanierReady program
The VCA is in the process of upgrading our Community Emergency Plan.
Emergencies happen most often with little or no notice, thus planning for them is critical. The first 48-72 hours are filled with confusion. If an emergency happens in your community, it may take emergency workers some time to reach you. You should be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for a minimum of 72-hours, however depending on the severity of the disaster, you may want to plan for two to three weeks.
ARE YOU READY? Emergency Preparedness starts at HOME.
Multi-Disciplinary Problem Address Team
In partnership with Crime Prevention Vanier, we advocated for the establishment of a multidisciplinary team (by-law, police services, fire services, housing services and public health) to address problem addresses in our community. A problem address is a site of ongoing, disorderly, dangerous and/or disruptive behaviours. The sustained nature of the problems is having a negative impact on the health, safety and security of tenants and the surrounding community.
The pilot project is being currently evaluated
Respond to complaints and community concerns about specific problematic address:
- Multidisciplinary approach to addressing root cause issues
- Develop an individualized action plans to support individuals
- Monitor, reassess, and follow-up in individualized action plans on a monthly basis.
The VCA is not a member of this multidisciplinary team but collaborates with the MdPat for the resolution of problematic addresses.
- Mental health services and community health:
- Similar to a post-incident protocol response, we consider that OPS should not respond to mental-health related incident without property trained and being paired with social workers specialized in mental health (emergency) crisis
- Advocacy through Carleton Research on the Neighbourhood Resource Team (NRT)
- Advocacy through the NRT Strategic Table led by Councillor Fleury and Councillor King
- Working with Neighbourhood Resource Team to integrate a mental health adequate response system to community policing
- Reform of Emergency and non-emergency call centres:
- VCA receives complaints from residents regarding the unacceptable experience with OPS staff who take their 911 call. We repeatedly hear that their exchange with the Ottawa Police Service Call Centre does not encourage them to call again. We advocate for a reform of Emergency and Non-Emergency Call Centers:
- add better training;
- stop telling callers that they MUST report online;
- inform staff of crime trends so they are on alert to calls that relate to these trends, and ;
- be receptive to residents’ concerns, while asking for the critical information needed to respond to the emergency.
- Proactive By-Law services:
- In Ottawa, By-Law Services are reactive, they respond to 311 complaints. Rideau-Vanier has by-far the highest number of complaints: The current reactive By-Law and Regulatory service model that does not address the current needs in our community. We recommend the adoption of the City of Hamilton’s model: Hamilton is moving away from an enforcement culture towards a focus on compliance and acting as ambassadors for the city.
- Arson Fire:
- We request a neighbourhood-wide arson prevention approach be immediately implemented, in collaboration with the VCA and other stakeholders, to help increase awareness of arson fire prevention.
- Vanier Fire specific data to support a informed decision-making and the development of a holistic strategy
- Vacant Houses strategy – creation of an inventory managed and updated by the Vanier Safety Committee
- Reduce Speed:
- We work with the Sustainable Development Committee to reduce speed in the neighbourhood.
- VSC supports a pathway under the Cummings bridge to increase the safety of cyclists and pedestrians at Montreal Road and the Vanier Parkway. Efforts are underway for a multi-use path under the bridge.
Road Safety and Vanier Safety Audits
We conduct safety audits of our neighbourhood to address infrastructure issues.
- Vanier North Safety completed, will be reviewed in 2022
- 4 safety audits are scheduled in 2021-22 (post-pandemic)
- Vanier Safety Forum (every two years)
- Meet and Greet with members of the Neighbourhood Resource Team
- Post-incident protocol: we work collaboratively with the Councillor’s office, the VCSC, our community Police Officer, and other partners when needed (BIA, OCH, etc.) to respond to traumatic incidents.
- Vanier Walkabout: Monthly work in the neighbourhood to report graffiti, needles, issues, meet residents, etc.
- Free training: we offer free training (ex. Overdose, etc.)
Raise awareness for a community driven crime prevention approach.
Our activities have been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. A new workplan will be elaborated by the working group in September. We will set the new objectives for the year to come.