Neighbourhood crime concerns

Prevention means reporting every incident

ALL OF US inthe Leaside, Bennington and Thorncliffe areas have been shocked at recent reports of street robberies in our community — at times and in places that we always thought safe. Some episodes have involved weapons.

I held a community safety meeting in June. stressed the importance of reporting every suspicious incident. Nothing will be more effective in getting increased police protection in our area.

The police can’t be everywhere at all times. Further, during the times of day when dangers are likely to be at their highest in our community, they are high in other places also. There is inevitably an element of strategic thinking that underlies the deployment of police resources throughout the district at each time of day.

One way that residents can help the police protect us is to provide information. If the police know where the problems are and who is causing trouble, they can develop strategies to allocate personnel.

Our residents have done a good job reporting crime. I have made the police aware of each such report. I have asked them to increase their patrols in our area and am confident that they have begun to respond to the problem.

Some parents tell me that youths are reluctant to talk about incidents of which they are aware, including ones in which they have been victimized. Their children need to be encouraged to overcome this. Even activities that are not criminal, but which give rise to reasonable suspicion, should be reported. It all helps build a record that helps solve past crimes and plan steps to prevent future ones.

In our part of Ward 26 our local police department is 53 Division. Make sure they know about anything that happens in our area that they need to know about.