In November 2008, City Council approved my motion on the "prevention of social disorder and community impacts in and around licensed premises." The motion directed the Police Service, Fire Department, Licensing and other City departments to work with their provincial counterparts to reduce the disruption caused by bars and nightclubs on the surrounding neighbours and ensure a safe environment for patrons.
The main strategy behind this coordinated approach was to focus limited resources to identify and target the venues associated with the greatest number of problems. Only through working together were the responsible agencies able to address the cumulative impacts the licensed premise was having on a community. The multi agency groups dealt proactively with a wide range of issues including size and proximity limitations in residential areas; requirements for safety/security management plans, taxi stand and pedestrian drop off areas, and police checks.
In a report to Council last month, we learned that the collaborative approach is working well. 2011 represented the lowest volume of violent, intoxicated and disturbance calls in at least seven years and a 65% reduction in calls to Emergency Services versus the same period in 2008. The multi-agency group will continue to provide an annual update to City Council on their progress and recommend legislative changes as needed.
If bars and nightclubs are poorly planned and badly managed, the concerns around noise, social disorder, criminal activity and violence, can have a severe effect on the surrounding neighbourhood. Conversely, well-run establishments with a responsible operator can contribute to the diversity, economy and vitality of Calgary.
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.