Business Watch Program helps create safer business areas in Chemainus

Free information highlights important partnership for crime prevention

The Chemainus Business Improvement Association is hosting a free information session Tuesday, Sept. 18 about the Business Watch Program operated through Cowichan Community Policing and Crime Prevention Program and Services.

The program assists businesses in reducing and preventing crimes in Chemainus. Everyone is welcome to attend and no pre-registration is required for the 8-9 a.m. seminar at the Chemainus 55+ Activity Centre at 9824 Willow St.

The program reports all suspicious activities to registered businesses and police, builds safer business areas and reduces property offences through open communication and the sharing of information. The partnership between the community and the RCMP as well as business owners and staff develops a communication network to report suspicious activities to the police and each other.

“One of the more significant components in Community Policing, and vital to our alternate policing strategy, is crime prevention through education,” explained Carol-Ann Rolls, manager, Cowichan Community Policing and Crime Prevention, who will be conducting the session.

“The use of community-based crime prevention initiatives and safety techniques creates a spirit of cooperation and affiliation between the public and the police. This will inevitably lead to a safer environment for everyone.”

After Rolls speaks about the program, an informal question and answer session will be held. Businesses can register to participate in the program by completing a simple form on-site.

“As a business and community member, your responsibility does not end at your store front,” noted Shelley Johnstone, the CBIA’s coordinator. “When businesses work together, the community becomes safer and stronger. For a community to remain vibrant, its local businesses must flourish and for businesses to do well customers must feel safe in the business districts.“

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