A program called Safe Place has been launched by Saanich Police Department to support victims of hate-motivated crimes in the district.
The initiative, launched Wednesday, intends to nurture a space where victims feel supported when reporting such incidents.
The department said the mission of the program is to increase feelings of inclusion and improve safety for LGBTQ2s+, BIPOC, people experiencing homelessness and other communities often targeted in hate crimes.
To represent the program and its support for these groups, decals were placed at police headquarters, the community safety office in the Uptown centre, Saanich recreation centres and municipal buildings.
“The Safe Place program is based on a trademarked program that originated in Seattle,” said Const. Eric Misener. “It has been rolled out to several departments across North America in order to best support those who live in marginalized communities.”
The department consulted the Greater Victoria Police Diversity Advisory Committee, Victoria Pride Society and the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria during the implementation phase of the program.
“We’ve worked with knowledgeable stakeholders who provided an influence on how police policies are created and what police practice looks like in action,” said Misener. He added they’re working to bring diversity to the police force to reflect the community they serve.
To learn more or to become involved in the program, visit spdsafeplace.ca.
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