The Timmins Police Services released the findings of a public survey on Monday, June 12 as part of its public consultation for developing a three-year business plan later this year.
The plan, presented on Monday night in the TPS training room, will guide development and direction for policing services from 2017 to 2020.
A total of 212 people responded to the survey. The results indicate the public is concerned about crime in the downtown area, violent crimes, and drug related crime.
“What is interesting to note is the cyber crime and Internet crime concern," said Police Chief John Gauthier.
As for meeting and the priorities identified by the public consultation process, Gauthier said TPS’s primary service is to keep the community safe and to make people feel safe.
They also must abide by the police budget as approved by City Council and the Ontario Police Services Act and its regulations.
“This fall, there will be a new Police Act introduced by the Ontario government that will greatly alter police services in Ontario,” Police Chief Gauthier said.
The new Police Services Act itself is based on broad consultations with communities across Ontario, including several days in Timmins under the banner Save Communities Ontario.
The majority of survey responders – 96.68 per cent – were homeowners, while 2.37 per cent were business owners. 50.24 per cent were male and 48.788 per cent were female.
Many responders – 24.76 per cent – were in the 35 to 44-year age group. While 24.29 per cent were 55 to 64 years of age, 86.26 per cent have lived in Timmins more than 10 years.
“The survey showed the public viewed successes from the previous three years for TPS to included the handling of illicit drug and associated crimes through successful investigation and media reporting of drug arrests,” Chief Gauthier.
“The campaign for proper disposal and handling of expired prescription medication was also viewed a success,” he added.
Other areas of success as viewed by the public included TPS violent crime prevention, the establishment of the Community Mobilization Committee, Crime Stoppers, increased foot patrol, and the Lock It or Lose It campaign.
In traffic enforcement, implementation of traffic calming speed radar was viewed positively by the public.
A sizeable number of people in Timmins – 46.77 per cent – feel unsafe walking in the downtown area after dark compared to 53.23 per cent who feel very safe, safe or somewhat safe.
“The 47 per cent perception that downtown after dark is a dangerous place might stem from shopkeepers leaving their shops, especially in winter time and feeling that they are unsafe,” explained Chief Gauthier.
In addition to the public survey and the meeting on Monday night, TPS will meet with other community organizations including the Downtown Business Improvement Area.
Timmins Police Services Board is currently compiling information on policing priorities in preparation for the thee-year Business Plan. This document will outline goals and direction for the board and be used to develop a budget that, once approved by Timmins City Council, will provide the funds for police activity over the next three years.
Later this year, a budget will be prepared and introduced to City Council for approval
“One area the residents can continue to assist police in is to help report matters to police,” suggested Chief Gauthier.
“Often a member in the community witnesses a crime or sees something occurring that may be potentially a crime, we encourage community to call in a report a crime,” he added.
The public may call Timmins Police at (705) 264-1201 or dial 911 in emergency situations.
For more information on TPS, click here.