Downtown Yonge BIA innovatives a “How-To” postcard

Courtney Charette —

An easy-to-read infographic to help improve crime reporting has been developed by the Downtown Yonge BIA, and is now being distributed by police and other agencies.

“Too often, people either call 9-1-1 or do nothing,” explains Downtown Yonge BIA Executive Director Mark Garner. “This infographic shows the other, better options, for everything from property damage to fraud.”

The infographic, which has been produced on postcards for easy distribution, advises to call 9-1-1 in an emergency situation – when the safety of people or property is at immediate risk, such as a fire or a crime in progress. For non-emergencies, the infographic provides phone numbers and websites, to report crimes such as theft, driving complaints and graffiti. It also offers instructions for dealing with ongoing issues, such as noise complaints, and how to remain anonymous if so desired.

Downtown-Yonge-FI“We hope this will lead to more, and more accurate, reporting of crime on the street and in the neighbourhood,” Garner says. “When crimes go unreported, not only do they remain unsolved, but it creates unreliable crime rate data, which impacts on decisions about policing resources.”

Downtown Yonge worked with the Toronto Police Service’s 51 and 52 Divisions – which cover the BIA’s catchment area – to develop the “How to Report a Crime” infographic. Other divisions are now looking to replicate it for their own jurisdictions.

About 5,000 copies of the infographic postcard have been produced to launch the project.

“The response so far has been very positive. Residents’ associations and social agencies have called about obtaining copies, there are discussions among police services about translating it into other languages, and we have distributed the postcards to our street front members along Yonge Street,” Garner says.“We are proud to be taking an active role in bringing numerous stakeholders together to address community issues.”

The Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area (DYBIA) is a catalyst for creating vibrant urban experiences and events in the heart of downtown Toronto. Representing more than 2,000 businesses and their employees, as well as the broader community of residents, students and visitors, the DYBIA champions attractive public spaces, popular events, safety and cleanliness. It plays an active role both at street level and in boardrooms, advocating for a thriving and diverse community of retailers, restaurants and services.