Ensuring the safety and well-being of the people living in any community requires a community-based approach. One that addresses issues like poverty and inequality, and provides services for those dealing with mental illness, substance use and other social challenges.
Aside from addressing safety and well-being in the long run, these efforts should also involve more immediate interventions to prevent and reduce crimes.
To meet this need, the City of Wetaskiwin, with support from the RCMP, is partnering with the Canadian Municipal Network on Crime Prevention to develop a Community Safety and Well-Being (CSWB) strategy.
“Our community definitely faces challenges in preventing crime,” says Paul Edginton, General Manager of Community & Protective Services at the City of Wetaskiwin. “Historically, the approach to solving these issues has mainly been police-centric – as in more policing. This strategy aims to take a broader, more long-term approach.”
The CSWB strategy brings together key community stakeholders and agencies to identify concerns and challenges related to safety and well-being, and aims to implement proactive approaches to address them.
“We’re working with a large, all-encompassing group of stakeholders in the community to ensure it’s not just the City of Wetaskiwin’s input going into designing and implementing this venture,” Edginton says. “The strategy uses proactive, holistic solutions to many issues like youth development, housing and food security that, left unchecked, result in crime.”
To create a useful CSWB strategy, an understanding is needed about how residents of Wetaskiwin currently perceive community safety and well-being in the city, and learn from their experiences. The project will include several opportunities for community members to provide input, including focus groups and other engagements and a Community Safety & Well-Being Survey.
By completing the survey, residents will help the City of Wetaskiwin see what is working well, as well as identify challenges and community needs to be met.
The CSWB Survey collects demographic information in order to understand the various experiences of residents in the city of Wetaskiwin, with all responses confidential. It includes questions about your experience with various crimes, including domestic violence, assault, and sexual assault. However, specific details regarding your experience will not be collected.
The survey takes approximately 20 minutes to complete, and responses will be collected until 11:59 p.m. on March 31, 2023.
Follow the City of Wetaskiwin on Facebook, call 780-361-4400 for more information, and take the online CSWB Survey here.