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September 10, 2003
Safety Night moves community concerns to the forefront
  
In the midst of both municipal and provincial elections, citizens across
Toronto are gearing up to focus on community safety. On Tuesday, September 16,
from 7 to 9 p.m., hundreds of people will conduct safety audits to make their
neighbourhoods safer places to live, work and play. The fourth annual Community
Safety Night, hosted by METRAC (Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence
Against Women and Children), offers neighbours a chance to evaluate local
areas, identify areas they feel are unsafe, and make suggestions for improving
safety.

Participants will use METRAC's Safety Audit Resource Kit to evaluate
neighbourhood safety. Kits include checklists and tips for both identifying and
providing solutions to safety issues. The audit kits are designed based on the
notion that once communities are made safer for women, who feel most vulnerable
in public spaces, they will be safer for everyone. As well, the kits serve to
give voice to the concerns of a community's diverse members.

The goal of organizers is to have every neighbourhood participate, and to
involve Toronto Councillors in the process of making the city safer. "We're
working very hard to combine community action with political action," said
Cristina Alcivar, METRAC's Community Safety Night Co-ordinator. "Neighbourhoods
can't do it alone, and politicians can't do it alone. But over the past few
years, we have seen many success stories when everyone works together towards a
common good."

At the launch ceremony, successes from 2002 were celebrated when METRAC
presented Safety Star Awards to Toronto Councillors who had worked with their
neighbourhoods to conduct safety audits. Award recipients included Councillors
Raymond Cho, Brad Duguid, John Filion, Pam McConnell, Peter Milczyn and Case
Ootes.

Following the launch, METRAC conducted training sessions to familiarize the
public with the audit process and tools.

To get a copy of the Safety Audit Resource Kit, or for more information on
conducting a Community Safety Audit, contact METRAC at 416-392-4286.

Media Contacts:
Cristina Alcivar, METRAC, 416-392-4286
Janet Balfour, Toronto Community and Neighbourhood Services,
416-392-9271



 

 

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