Two serious assaults in downtown Langley City in five days, one of which led to a man’s death, are simply unacceptable.
It is time the community stood up and said “No more.”
Both of these assaults took place within a block of the Cascades Casino and Convention Centre, the crown jewel that attracts people to the City from near and far. There are no problems in the casino or on its property — there are security guards, the parking areas are well-lit and there is considerable safety in numbers.
But there are significant and serious problems just a short walk away — at the Logan Avenue bus loop. The loop is a haven for people with time on their hands, and for years has been notorious as a place where drug dealers congregate — particularly after dark. They are helped by the fact that there is little transit service in the evening to Langley, so the area is virtually uninhabited by reputable people.
The fact that the owner of the adjacent Rainbow Mall has the curious idea that having a near-empty mall is a good return on an investment doesn’t help.
There are so few people around the mall and bus loop, especially after 6 p.m., that it is a haven for bad guys.
Langley City council needs to insist on more frequent police patrols of both the bus loop and adjacent downtown areas. It needs to boost programs like citizen patrols, so that there are plenty of eyes and ears there at all times.
If the bad habits of a few people aren’t curtailed through increasing contact with police and authority, it will become very difficult for the many people who call the downtown area home to walk along the streets at night. This will hurt business, diminish livability and will certainly not inspire anyone to invest in new projects in the city core, as City council would like to see.
Most people who live and work in Langley City are decent, law-abiding people who simply wish for peace and quiet when they are out on the street.
It is up to City council to show leadership and nip this very serious problem in the bud, before things get much worse.