The Shoppers Row courtyard is one area of concern about public safety in Campbell River’s downtown core. Google Maps

Downtown Campbell River business owners call Safer Downtown a “big step forward”

Te Downtown BIA is happy the city has responded to its Safe Streets petition and is taking action to make downtown safer.

In the past six weeks more than 1,100 people have signed the Safe Streets petition started by the Campbell River BIA. The organization represents business owners who have been vocal about reducing criminal activity in the downtown core.

Earlier this week the city responded by approving new funding to open a Safer Downtown Office on Shoppers Row that will house the bylaw enforcement office – including adding a bylaw officer – a RCMP checkpoint, and Footprints Security. The city will also establish a working group to coordinate with social service providers. The bylaw enforcement department will move into a vacant business on the 1300 block of Shoppers Row next to the Harbourside Inn beer and wine store.

Related: City of Campbell River aims to make downtown safer by the summer

“People have been incredible in supporting this initiative and on all counts we have been heard,” says BIA Co-Chair Lisa Whitmore. “This is going to change the landscape of our downtown in a meaningful way.”

The BIA will now be part of the new working group that will address long term solutions working with social service providers. The BIA is in full support of the Safer Downtown plan and committed to participating in this timely new vision for a safe and supportive downtown environment.

“It is because the people of this city have stepped up and said enough is enough,” says Co-Chair Heather Gordon Murphy. “This is the the beginning and we are committed to finding the best path forward for those who need our help. We see it as a major turning point for our city.”