An added attempt to mitigate crime in Campbell River’s downtown is getting the cold shoulder, for the time being.
A staff shortage has prompted the Downtown BIA to scrap the months-old overnight security patrol.
“It came down to the same thing that everybody else is dealing with. And that’s basically not being able to provide the staff,” explained BIA co-chair Heather Gordon Murphy.
This past August, Blackbird Security was hired by the BIA to enhance private property patrol around the downtown core and beyond, from Pier St. to Campbell River Common.
The goal was to ensure streets are kept safe and secure for locals after bylaw and daytime security guards wrap up for the day, which is usually around 8 pm.
According to Gordon Murphy, a spike in unwanted activity is what prompted an overnight patrol in the first place. “Everything from criminal activity,” she told My Campbell River Now.
Local businesses had to pay for the service, which saw security guards on shift from 8 pm until 4 am; two, three and sometimes four nights a week. One guard, Sean Smith, would actually document his shifts online.
But that’s before everything came to a halt on Nov. 7. However, Gordon Murphy is staying optimistic.
“It couldn’t have worked out better. It worked out to exactly three months, which is what we based our first trial period on,” she says. “We are refunding, so nobody’s out any money if they happened to pay past the three months.”
Looking ahead, Gordon Murphy said the BIA is in talks to eventually bring the overnight patrol back.
“I’ve got two meetings today (Wednesday, Nov. 17) about it actually,” she added. “I’m also in talks with the city. That’s actually happening right now.”