This past summer, Halton Regional Police Service implemented a focused foot and bike patrol program in the downtown core. The program is run via the PAVIS team, which stands for the Provincial Anti-Violence Intervention Team. Among the goals of the program is to provide police presence in hot spot areas to discourage crime before it is committed or escalated to more violent offences.
Representatives of the HRPS PAVIS team attended my semi-annual Downtown Hospitality Working Group meeting in early November, and reported on the results of their work over the summer:
- For the vast majority of Friday/Saturday evenings over the past 10 weeks HRPS had two officers dedicated to foot and/or bike patrol in the downtown core.
- The program is in response to an increase in calls for service in this area of the city during the summer months, as well as to address a number of community concerns.
- This HRPS identified 5 “hotspots” based on analysis of calls, as well as community feedback. Officers who were assigned to the foot patrol program were expected to proactively patrol each of the 5 hotspots at least once during their shift.
- The chart below summarizes the overall results of the program.
|5 hot spots||Times Attended||Warnings||Arrests||Person Stop||Criminal Charges||PON’s|
|Tim Horton’s in Lower Brant Plaza||21||2||0||3||4||0|
|Bike Path Guelph Line-Pearl Street||18||0||0||0||0||0|
|Retail Premise on Brant south of Caroline Street||30||13||4||2||2||14|
|Parking Garage on Locust Street||31||3||4||0||(CDSA ) 1||10|
|Intelligence Gathering reports – 27|
The beach strip area was clearly the hotspot that resulted in the most enforcement. HRPS anticipate running the program again next summer. The visibility of the program acts as a deterrent to persons who may otherwise act in a disruptive manner, particularly later in the evening after they have consumed a quantity of alcohol. On their nightly report, several of the officers noted that they received very positive and unsolicited feedback from members of the community about the foot patrol program. Police will use this years’ results, as well as feedback from the community throughout the next 8 months, to identify next year’s hot spots.
You can help. Police track incident reports and their locations to determine where to proactively deploy officers on foot and bike patrols. To report crimes after they have occurred (for example, vandalism), contact the police non-emergency line at 905-825-4777.