Sooke council mulls proposal to let non-police patrol residential streets

Shadow West Security proposes providing night-time patrols between two and four hours on residential streets, seven days a week.

  • Fri Apr 29th, 2016 4:00pm
  • News

A security patrol in Sooke could put more eyes out on the street to reduce crime, according to a proposal to district council.

The proposal, made by Shadow West Security, suggests providing night-time patrols between two and four hours on residential streets in Sooke, seven days a week.

“With the increasing crime rate for the past year in Sooke, we deal with trespassers, suspicious vehicles, everything,” company owner David Babbage told council last week.

“Broom Hill, Sunriver, Harbourview, we’ll go wherever we’re needed.”

The Sooke-based security company, started by Babbage 10 years ago, offers security and first aid services to residential and commercial developments, individual clients, as well as construction sites around Sooke.

Shadow West also assists with guards and traffic control personnel at public town events such as the Santa Claus Parade.

There is no set number of guards it employs either, as that number changes on the situation and the event.

“We can be as large as the community wants us to be, or as small as we are,” Babbage said, adding he has 23 years experience in the private security industry.

Though interested in the proposal, Coun. Kevin Pearson asked about the company’s relationship with the RCMP and how the two work together.

“I’ve spoken with them [RCMP] on many occasions, and I think they appreciate what I do for them, as I take care of the small things so they can focus on the larger issues,” he said, adding they will only contact police if a situation is beyond their control.

Mayor Maja Tait said the added patrol service could be beneficial for Sooke, if all the details such as cost and terms are considered.

“There’s always an appetite to look at doing something to improve safety, as long as it’s reasonable,” she said.

Tait pointed out that if there’s a way to support Sooke RCMP’s efforts in their large area of service, she’s open to see how it could work.

“You don’t want to be like a police state either, but certainly if there’s a way of supplementing the service, then I think it’s worth seeing how it goes.”

Chief administrative officer Teresa Sullivan said the staff will work with Shadow West to pull together a detailed analysis on how much the service is going to cost, which will be presented at the May 9 council meeting.