Community StreetSafe Initiative
Age group: Not age specific
Gender: Mixed (male and female)
Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 0
Continuum of intervention: Secondary crime prevention
The Boyle Street Community Services (BSCS) StreetSafe Initiative was born out of the recognition of a need for increased safety for residents, businesses, staff and clients of the Boyle Street Centre, located in Edmonton’s inner-city area. Following a 2009 Fear of Crime survey administered by BSCS, it was determined that there is a collective concern from all groups about personal safety, victimization, and problematic behavior.
The Community StreetSafe initiative addresses these concerns by utilizing a Community Safety Liaison Officer (CSLO) who liaises with police and the local businesses, and four Community Safety Outreach Workers (CSOWs) who patrol and maintain safety in and around the BSCS building as well as offer assistance to local businesses and residents when needed. Based on the survey, the StreetSafe project implemented a 6 component project: Community Safety Liaison Officer, Community Patrols, Drug Abuse Reduction Scheme, Security Camera Installation, Staff Training, and Regular Community Safety Meeting.
This program is centered on community mobilization; conflict resolution; leadership and youth development; and skills training.
The main goals of the Community StreetSafe Initiative are to:
- Identify and target known or suspected drug dealers in the area in order to decrease the amount of drug dealing and drug use in and around the Boyle Street area;
- Decrease the number of calls for police assistance in the Boyle Street area by responding to and de-escalating incidents before they require police intervention; and
- Engage with local businesses and residents to create a cohesive community and reduce incidences of crime and disorder and, therefore, reduce fear of crime.
The Community StreetSafe Initiative clientele are those who suffer from homelessness, poverty, addictions, mental health problems, social disorganization, poor family functioning, criminal involvement, or disabilities (particularly Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder). Many of their clients suffer from a combination of these risk factors, which result in significant marginalization from mainstream society.
The core components of the Community StreetSafe Initiative include the following:
- Community and police liaison officers and community patrol officers who patrol the community in order to maintain safety in and around the Boyle Street area. They also offer assistance to local businesses and residents when needed.
Some of the critical elements for the implementation of this program or initiative include the following:
- Organizational requirements: The lead organization should work with police liaison officers and community patrol officers in order to engage in outreach and assist youth at-risk of gang involvement.
- Partnerships: Organizations should collaborate with clients, community members, and staff.
- Training and technical assistance: Limited information on this topic.
- Risk assessment tools: Limited information on this topic.
- Materials & resources: Limited information on this topic.
The most recognized classification systems of evidence-based crime prevention programs have classified this program or initiative as follows:
- Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development: Not applicable.
- Crime Solutions/OJJDP Model Program Guide: Not applicable.
- SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices: Not applicable.
- Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy: Not applicable.
Gathering Canadian Knowledge
Canadian Implementation Sites
The Community StreetSafe Initiative has been implemented in Edmonton (Alberta) by the Boyle Street Community Services. The Community StreetSafe Initiative was a recipient of the Safe Communities Innovation Fund (SCIF), Government of Alberta.
Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies
No information available.
A social return on investment (SROI) has been conducted on the Community StreetSafe Initiative. The findings from this study have shown the following:
- The ratio for the Boyle Street Community Services StreetSafe Initiative is 1.99:1 over three years, indicating that for every dollar invested in the program, $1.99 (CAD) of social value is created.
- This ratio demonstrates the significance of helping marginalized individuals access services and resources in order for them to improve their lives and their situation. It is important to note that because the Boyle Street Community Services building sees a large drop-in population in addition to those clients with appointments for specific programs, the actual number of clients impacted and experiencing change can only be estimated when completing the SROI. It is, however, expected that this SROI offers a reasonably accurate ratio for the program.
For more information, refer to the Alberta Community Crime Prevention Organizations’ (2015) publication.
Alberta Community Crime Prevention Organizations. (2015). Social Return on Investment (SROI) Case Study: Community StreetSafe Initiative. Recipient of Safe Communities Innovation Fund, Government of Alberta. Available from: https://open.alberta.ca/publications/safe-communities-innovation-fund-pilot-project-executive-summaries
For more information on this program, contact:
Record Updated On - 2021-04-29
- Date modified: