• Roberta Franchuk

Anti-crime initiative launched


Items left in a car can be a tempting target for thieves

Several south-central communities are banding together to reduce crime and improve policing in their areas. Representatives from Allendale, Lendrum, Parkallen, Belgravia, Pleasantview, McKernan and Windsor Park met in October with representatives from the police service and other groups to discuss strategies and concerns about crime in their communities.

While reporting on crime statistics lags behind, often by a year or more, Edmonton overall has seen increases in crime in the last five years. The city’s low median age has something to do with this, with a large number of people in the “at-risk crime age” bracket of 18 to 34. As well, the amount of unreported crime (usually property crimes) is unknown.

Beyond statistics, feelings about crime depend as much on perception as on data — and some residents in south-central communities feel that crime is a bigger problem than the crime stats suggest. We are hoping to improve crime reporting from residents to get a clearer picture and get more police presence if crime is indeed increasing.Thefts from vehicles, garages and back yards have been an issue for years, while vacant houses have on occasion provided shelter for squatters who troll the neighbourhoods for valuables.

This anti-crime initiative is hoping to encourage residents to reduce their vulnerability to crime and to report crimes of all kinds, as well as to improve coordination with police and other human services.

In addition to reporting crimes to the Edmonton Police Service, you can also send an email to mckernanwatch@gmail.com about crime, suspicious activities or other concerns. This will help us collect data about our own neighbourhood activities. Belgravia, for example, has run a crime notification list via email for several years. Further information about crime prevention will be up at the McKernan website (mckernancommunity.org).

The community will also be increasing its connection to Edmonton Neighbourhood Watch in the coming months.

If you are interested in representing McKernan in ongoing initiatives, please contact vice-president Nathan Mol at vicepresident@mckernancommunity.org.

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