Downtown businesses in Duncan are being asked to be vigilant after a number of break-ins in recent days.
Amanda Vance, executive director of the Downtown Duncan BIA, said she knows of at least four break-ins, as well as one attempt, and there may be more.
But she said the known businesses involved didn’t report many losses; thieves took only some small items and petty cash.
Vance said the DDBIA has sent a reminder to all its members, especially those businesses with upstairs access, to be vigilant and be extra aware of door access by checking that doors are locked, and being aware of who is present.
She advised businesses not to have cash on hand, and to install alarm systems and cameras, and reminded then that the city has a program that helps subsidize some of these security costs.
More information on the program can be found at https://duncan.ca/enhanced-security-initiative-program-esip.
Vance said the DDBIA is currently polling its members on a number of possible initiatives to help increase security downtown, including setting up a neighbourhood watch program.
“We were hoping to have some of our members volunteer to walk around and keep an eye on things at certain times, but we have had only a few step forward so far,” she said.
Vance said the DDBIA is also asking members if they would sign a petition asking for better police service in the area that would be handed to Duncan Mayor Michelle Staples.
She said the petition would be intended for senior levels of government, not the city, to press them to provide additional resources to help increase security downtown.
“The city has already done a lot to help improve the situation,” Vance said.
“The City of Duncan does have nighttime security patrols. They are staggered so that potential criminals are not aware of coverage in order to plan accordingly. The DDBIA is also sending a letter to ask the city for security cameras in public spaces.”
Vance said the DDBIA doesn’t want people to get the impression that it’s not safe downtown at night, because it mostly is.
“We’re just trying to make sure our member businesses are protected after the hard time they had last year dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.