AUDIO | Communities across Canada are facing multiple challenges these days, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the opioid overdose and poisoning crisis, increasing homelessness and rising crime rates.

Steve Woolrich is a crime prevention practitioner and principal consultant at ReThink Urban, a Vancouver Island-based initiative dedicated to improving safety, wellbeing and quality of life in communities. His recent op-ed for The Times Colonist, We need new ways to deal with rising crime rate, recommends that we start by embracing local wisdom — our residents, and neighbourhood associations. Woolrich adds that, “Often, we tend to look abroad, adopting other programs and initiatives that may be extremely costly to implement.”

ReThink Urban looks at urban places and spaces from the dual perspectives of crime prevention and creative placemaking. Now the organization is launching a new grassroots partnership in downtown Victoria with the Anglican Church of St. John the Divine. The Full Spectrum Community Safety and Well-Being program is dedicated to community safety and well-being — as it begins, for downtown Victoria — but, eventually for other communities on Vancouver Island, operating as a non-profit network or social enterprise.

This new approach to community safety and well-being fuses a number of best practices, including Crime Prevention through Environmental Design, Healthy Built Environment Toolkit, and Placemaking.

Steve Woolrich spoke with People First Radio about safety, well-being and quality of life challenges faced by communities and about the Full Spectrum Community Safety and Well-Being program that is launching in Victoria. Listen and/or download below.

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Image: iStock