White Lake Residents Association Reviews Safety Survey
By Garry Loeppky
Over the last year, the White Lake Residents Association has explored and
reviewed programs such as Block Watch, Rural Crime Watch, and Citizens on
Patrol with the objective to ensure that the White Lake area remains safe and
secure. A number of community meetings, including presentations by the RCMP,
have taken place to assess the level and impact of criminal activity in the area,
and to identify steps that could be taken to mitigate the impact of crime or illegal
activity on citizens living in the White Lake area.
As discussions evolved, it was determined that one of the key components of any
approach to community safety was to have the residents of White Lake identify
what their concerns were and to invite feedback on how best to deal with issues
that might be identified.
As a result, a one page survey was developed with 14 questions and distributed to
all residents of White Lake in mid July 2018. Hard copies were mailed out to all
Canada Post mail recipients in White Lake, the survey was advertised on the
White Lake Group page, as well as the White Lake Residents Association Facebook
page, and respondents were invited to complete the survey, whether in hard copy
or on line. A secure drop off point was placed at the White Lake Community Hall
to ensure anonymity, and the deadline for completion of the survey was August
18 th .
The survey results were reviewed after the deadline for completion of the survey
concluded on August 18th and a presentation was provided to the executive of
the White Lake Residents Association in October on the feedback received.
Despite a disappointingly low level of response, it was found that there is a high
level of interest from those who did complete the survey expressing a desire to
ensure that White Lake remains a safe environment for those living in the area.
When residents were asked how important it was for them to have a safe
environment/community. 95% of respondents said this was very important.
The importance of a close relationship of those living in the area and awareness
of suspicious activity in neighboring properties was identified as a key component
to deterring, or reporting crime or suspicious activity when it occurs. It was also
noted that residents were interested in fact based suspicious activity or
occurrences being made public through such forums as the White Lake Residents
Association Web Page or the White Lake Group page.
With respect to individual property protection, residents also expressed an
interest in having an educational presentation on how to “target harden” their
property and assets to deter criminal activity. Target hardening is the process of
making a property secure to reduce the risk for crimes.
It was also noted that several residents expressed concern about excessive speed
by vehicles travelling on the roads in the White Lake area especially where
pedestrians are present. However, it was also pointed out that in general,
vehicles slow down when pedestrians are observed.
The White Lake Residents Association is now reviewing the feedback provided in
the survey to determine the way forward.
The White Lake Residents Association Web page – www.wlra.ca is an excellent
venue as an educational and information venue for those residing in the
community and can play a role in keeping citizens informed, whether it relates to
community safety or other important issues for the area.