After several months of contemplation, city hall still hasn’t made a decision on whether a curfew would be the best solution to tackle the city’s vandalism and crime problems.
At Monday night’s council meeting, mayor and council reviewed curfew bylaws from several cities in Canada, but ultimately decided that more public consultation was required before the city could move forward. Mayor and council put forth a motion directing city staff to explore the best way to get feedback from residents, suggesting staff research consultation methods ranging from a task force to an open house.
Fort St. John resident Barbara Kvikstad, who has been working to reduce vandalism in her neighbourhood, says public input is a good thing, but she’d like to see a solution to her neighbourhood’s woes.
Many councilors also suggested crime deterrence techniques that could be used as an alternative or in addition to a curfew, such as surveillance cameras, better street lighting, or classical music broadcast in problem areas at night.
Councillor Bruce Christenson, who feels that tougher sentencing may be an effective deterrent, questioned the efficacy of a curfew for Fort St. John.
Councillor Dan Davies also stressed the importance of utilizing existing programs, such as auxiliary policing and block watch teams.