City of Saskatoon Local Area Planning (LAP)
Montgomery Place – Neighbourhood Safety
LAP Meeting 9 – 6 April 2016
About 20 Montgomery Place residents attended the LAP meeting on Neighbourhood Safety on April 6 at Montgomery School.
Facilitator Nancy Lackie welcomed residents, introduced city staff, Councillor Pat Lorje, and the guest speaker – Elisabeth Miller, Senior Planner, Neighbourhood Safety, City of Saskatoon.
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design – Elisabeth Miller
CPTED – Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design – is a community-centred approach to crime and the perception of safety. It is based on the precept that a healthy and safe community can “do for itself” by identifying problems, generating solutions, implementing solutions and monitoring the effectiveness of the actions. Such things as risk assessments and safety audits can lead to sustainable solutions. The goal of CPTED is to reduce opportunity for crime while increasing perceptions of safety. Community participation is crucial since local knowledge is critical to success.
Perceptions of Safety Survey
Residents attending the meeting were each given a survey with the following questions:
- Identify age group of respondent
- Male or female respondent
- Compared to other neighbourhoods, how safe of a neighbourhood do you think Montgomery Place is? – Very safe, somewhat safe, somewhat unsafe, very unsafe, unsure/don’t know.
- Overall, so you think your neighbourhood is: Very safe, somewhat safe, somewhat unsafe, very unsafe, unsure/don’t know.
- Over the past few years, do you think crime in your neighbourhood has: Decreased substantially, decreased somewhat, remained the same, increased somewhat, increased substantially, unsure/don’t know.
- Are you more concerned or less concerned with your personal safety than you were a few years ago: Less concerned, more concerned, same/no real change, unsure/don’t know.
- How safe do you feel in the following areas? Rate from very safe, somewhat safe, somewhat unsafe, very unsafe, unsure/don’t know.
. In your home during the day. In your home at night. Walking alone in your neighbourhood during the day
. Walking alone in your neighbourhood during the night
. Letting your children play out of your sight in the neighbourhood during the day
. Letting your children play out of your sight in the neighbourhood during the night
. Montgomery Park during the day
. Montgomery Park at night
. Gougeon Park during the day
. Gougeon Park at night
. Lt. Gen. GG Simonds Park during the day
. Lt. Gen. GG Simonds Park during the night
. Lt. Col. D Walker Park during the day
. Lt. Col. D Walker Park during the night
- In your opinion, what is the greatest safety-related issue in Montgomery Place right now? Check only one of: graffiti vandalism, vandalism, property theft, break and enter of homes, break and enter of businesses, personal assault, sexual assault or abuse, domestic violence, youth crime, prostitution, sexual exploitation of children, discarded needles, illegal drug trafficking, illegal use of drugs, other, unsure/don’t know.
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how concerned are you with each safety-related issue in your neighbourhood? (1 – not at all concerned to 10- very concerned, 11 – unsure): : graffiti vandalism, vandalism, property theft, break and enter of homes, break and enter of businesses, personal assault, sexual assault or abuse, domestic violence, youth crime, prostitution, sexual exploitation of children, discarded needles, illegal drug trafficking, illegal use of drugs, other, unsure/don’t know.
- On a scale from 1 to 10, how likely do you think each of these safety-related issues is to occur in your neighbourhood? (1 – not at all concerned to 10- very concerned, 11 – unsure): : graffiti vandalism, vandalism, property theft, break and enter of homes, break and enter of businesses, personal assault, sexual assault or abuse, domestic violence, youth crime, prostitution, sexual exploitation of children, discarded needles, illegal drug trafficking, illegal use of drugs, other, unsure/don’t know.
- If you have any other comments regarding safety in Montgomery Place, we would be interested in hearing about them.
Email your replies to Montgomery Place LAP Planner Melissa Austin at Melissa.Austin@Saskatoon.ca.
Montgomery Place Concerns
Break-out groups used maps of Montgomery Place to identify hot spots of perceived criminal activity. Generally, residents attending the meeting felt safe in Montgomery Place – everywhere and at all times. However, there were exceptions. These areas included, in no particular order, the following:
- The store and trailer park at 11th Street and Elevator Road
- Burma Road and areas south of Montgomery Place, including a natural bluff in the Chappell Yards
- The dead-end of Dundonald Avenue which seems to have replaced Burma Road
- Pockets along Elevator Road
- Parking lot on Caen Street, north of the Recreation Building in Montgomery Park
- Parking along Rockingham Avenue at west end of Montgomery Park including the church parking lot
- All parks – vehicles driving across parks during all seasons
- All parks – Insufficient lighting
- Catastrophes on rail or road
- Roads – speeding, careless and reckless driving
Residents felt that because Montgomery Place is somewhat secluded and on the edge of town, crime gravitated to us – what better place to go undetected than in a quiet neighbourhood with very little police presence? Johns have long enjoyed the privacy of Burma Road, and more recently the dead-end of Dundonald Avenue. Drug deals have been frequent in certain areas along Elevator Road and in neighbourhood parks.
Also, it was generally agreed that we fear more for our safety on Montgomery Place roads than we do from other criminal activity. Speeding and recklessly-driven vehicles, especially at night, are dangerous to life and limb.
We enjoy a beautiful canopy of trees that may cause some unease when walking alone through forested areas. A park such as Lt. Gen. GG Simonds Park has few homes facing the park. With limited visibility, some residents felt unsafe there.
Another safety concern, although not criminal, are the hazardous goods carried by rail. Trains pass to the north, east and south of us, laden with potentially dangerous cargo. What happens to Montgomery Place residents in the event of a hazardous goods collision, derailment or spill?
Following the break-out session, general discussion brought forward some questions. Is it better to light your backyard or keep it dark? It depends. If you light up your backyard but it is surrounded by trees, no one will see any suspicious people except you. You must be vigilant. People need to know their neighbours and take responsibility for their own actions. Don’t walk at night where you don’t feel safe.
Other comments revealed that people are more concerned about road safety than any other challenges.
Two City of Saskatoon booklets were free for the taking: Safe at Home (Guidelines to help keep your family, home and community safe) and Safety Audit (Keeping your neighbourhood safe).
The next LAP meeting will present a plan for neighbourhood safety in Montgomery Place, based on CPTED principles, using crime statistics gathered from the City Police and comments shared at tonight’s meeting. It will be held in Montgomery School on Tuesday night, April 19, 2016, at 7 pm.