In some cases, loitering is linked to a lack of available services, including but not limited to, wifi access and places for people experiencing homelessness to charge their cell phones.
- Between January and September 2018, The City received numerous complaints from downtown businesses related to concerns with loitering.
- Between January and September 2018, Red Deer RCMP issued 475 tickets for disturbing the peace, 266 tickets for mischief and 85 for other related offences such as loitering, swearing in public, noise complaints and trespassing, to name a few. These tickets were all issued based on offences in the downtown.
- Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) standards, which help reduce the potential for crime, are applied when planning for, designing and constructing all municipal public spaces and places in our city.
- RCMP and Community Peace Officers are conducting ongoing and increased patrols downtown.
- The Downtown Business Association (DBA) Clean Team monitors loitering behaviours as they conduct daily clean-ups and asks people to move along.
- Some downtown businesses have disconnected power from their outdoor outlets to minimize loitering on and near their sidewalks, alleyways and businesses where people experiencing homelessness have charged their devices.
- Planning for future public washrooms in the downtown area.
- In October 2018, The City considered the Community Housing and Advisory Board’s reallocation of $335,000 in operating funding for the purposes of immediate daytime support services in Red Deer. However, this is a temporary solution, and The City of Red Deer continues to call on the Province for funding of a 24/7 shelter with on-site support services.
- Red Deer City Council continues to press the Province of Alberta for funding of local daytime support services within a 24/7 shelter with on-site services. To date, the Province of Alberta has not supported or funded this initiative.
The City, through its Annual Policing Plan, directed the RCMP to focus on downtown. In 2019, six new officers will join a downtown Crime Reduction Team with loitering being just one of many anti-social activities officers will be tasked with changing.