In 2017, the four (4) Surrey BIA’s participated in a safety and security audit using a framework developed by the Downtown Surrey BIA. The exercise was to collect information directly from business owners and managers to create a database that could be reviewed annually for crime or incident trends in each BIA area and also provide an overview of crime or incident statistics for Surrey as a whole.
The results, released in January 2018, showed that Fleetwood was overall a safe place to work and live but that there were areas within the business district that were consistently targeted by criminals. The FBIA then broke the Fleetwood Business District into five (5) distinct zones and again analyzed and compared the crime / incident levels for each zones.
In June, 2018, researcher and Fleetwood BIA Policy Analyst Richard Mozisek, reviewed the statistics from the 2017 Audit and the 2018 crime / incident stats of the RCMP and Surrey Crime Prevention for each zone. His findings established that over a two (2) year period, crime / incident statistics were consistent in the same zones proving that specific retail areas were in fact being targeted more often than others.
The Fleetwood BIA’s Safety Team patrolled the different zones and spoke to the business owners in the areas where businesses were most targeted. In all high incident areas there was a lack of deterrents, including motion sensor lighting, signage, security patrols and the most obvious, security cameras.
After consulting with other BIA’s in the region, we found that BIAs in BC spend 10-35% of their budget on community security. In Surrey alone, BIA’s spend as little as 10% (Cloverdale) to as high as 36% (Newton) and it became quite obvious that each area had very different challenges and needs making it unlikely that there was a one size fits all approach to investing in safety and security initiatives.
Fleetwood is known as a comparatively safe and secure area, yet incidents are being reported by businesses. As stated above, the Fleetwood BIA has identified hotspots for crime against businesses. The top three (3) incidents include shoplifting, theft from vehicle, and break and enter. These hotspots, sourced from Surrey CrimeReport, include:
- Fraser Highway and Fleetwood Way (37 incidents reported to RCMP in last 6 months)
- (30 shoplifting, 3 theft from auto, 3 B&E)
- Fraser Highway and 152nd street (32 incidents reported to RCMP in last 6 months)
- (18 shoplifting, 8 theft from auto, 6 B&E)
- Fraser Highway and 159th street (10 incidents reported to RCMP in last 6 months)
- (5 shoplifting, 3 theft from auto, 2 B&E)
- Fraser Highway and 160th street (8 incidents reported to RCMP in last 6 months)
- (4 shoplifting, 3 theft from auto, 1 B&E)
From the research, the Fleetwood BIA Board of Director’s approved a general budget for safety and security of 10% of the annual budget for 2018 / 2019 and the Safety Team completed a customized and comprehensive Security Enhancement Program.
The program includes a $25,000 investment in a NEW Camera Security System Grant and $5,000 for the Fleetwood Crime Prevention Initiative. This initiative includes brining in expertise around security to Fleetwood. Surrey Crime Prevention will be engaging in multiple measures including walking and bike patrols, and “Lock-Out” Crime programs, leading to increased reporting of incidents. Additionally, as part of the initiative, the BIA will be bringing in a loss prevention expert to analyze the area, to raise awareness around programs designed to reduce and prevent crimes like theft.
As part of the Fleetwood BIA’s Security Enhancement Program, the NEW Camera Security System Grant policy governs the provision of funding reimbursement towards security camera additions and upgrades, monitoring, lighting, and signage, installed by industry experts.