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Chamber, police tackle industrial park issues

Thefts and traffic safety top discussions at forums

Crime statistics are trending downwards across Canada, but there is a concern in Delta's industrial parks about certain types of criminal activity as well as traffic safety.

To give relevance to both of these issues, the Delta Chamber of Commerce and Delta police department recently met with business owners and managers in the Tilbury and Annacis Island industrial parks to develop steps towards solutions.

Shared concerns include theft of trucks and trailers, theft of stored goods, metal theft as well as unsafe parking and traffic safety concerns.

"Delta Chamber members on our transportation committee with businesses based in our industrial parks reported to our board of directors earlier this year on some of these crimes related to trucking," said Delta Chamber of Commerce chair Ian Tait.

"Delta police have been addressing these crime and safety issues in the industrial parks for some time, where prevention and enforcement are always a challenge. So both organizations thought it would be a good idea to meet with our industrial park members and other businesses to address the problem and perhaps move ahead with some action."

During meetings at each industrial park, police reinforced their ongoing appeal that all crimes, no matter how minor, need to be reported, reiterating the "no call too small" message.

During the dialogue sessions the various parties agreed that safety and security in Delta's industrial parks is everyone's responsibility. They also discussed keeping an eye out for each other by way of neighbour awareness or through more structured programs such as Neighbourhood Watch.

Participants said they came away from the sessions with a new level of awareness about the issues.

"Not only did they become more accepting of the need for local businesses to become more proactive, they also came to understand more about how they might do that," said Tait. "They said they came to appreciate the support which can come from the community in various ways, including the police, but not just the police.

"I have to give a tremendous thank you to Delta police chief Jim Cessford and his team of senior officers and other staff for their participation in, and commitment to, this challenge for our industrial park members and other businesses. We cannot do it without them."

Business stakeholders, police and the chamber of commerce have committed to form a working group to identify technical solutions and best practices for crime reduction and public safety in the industrial parks.

To facilitate these efforts, the chamber will inaugurate a Delta Industrial Parks Crime and Safety Committee.

This committee will develop solutions and disseminate crime and safety best practices to organizations operating in Delta's industrial parks.

Businesses and organizations within Delta wishing to participate can contact the chamber at 6049464232 or via e-mail at admin@deltachamber.ca.