By Kyle Reid | The Pearl
An increasing number of break-ins throughout Southlands have some residents concerned, according to Mount Pearl-Southlands MHA Paul Lane.
Now Lane is making an effort to mobilize the committee and organize neighbourhood watch groups in Southlands in an effort to deal with the problem.
“It’s meant to be in response to the fact that there have been numerous break-ins into vehicles particularly in Southlands over the last couple of months,” said Lane, who noted that break-ins have also been reported in backyard sheds as well.
“I’ve heard that it’s happening all throughout Southlands,” added Lane, when asked if any particular area is more affected than others. “In all three areas of Southlands your hearing the same stories of break-ins happening.”
An occasional break-in is nothing new, Lane said, but the MHA said that he has noticed a significant increase in the number of break-ins reported by residents, particularly over the past two or three months. However, Lane said he is unsure as to the number of break-ins that have been officially reported over that period.
When contacted, RNC media relations officer Cst. Geoff Higdon said that he had forwarded an e-mailed request for the number of break-ins reported over the past three months to an RNC crime analyst. However, no further information was immediately returned.
In an effort to address the issue, Lane has helped to spearhead an effort to organize a Wednesday evening meeting held at Southlands Community Centre. The City of St. John’s neighbourhood watch co-coordinator and a representative from the RNC will be on hand to provide residents with the necessary information to organize neighbourhood watch groups in Southlands. Lane said he is hoping that the information session will entice interested individuals to take charge and address the problem as a community.
“The goal of the meeting is to give information on how neighbourhood watch works, (have) people sign up (and) to have, for each neighbourhood in Southlands, a neighbourhood watch,” said Lane.
So far, Lane said, his effort has received a strong feedback from area residents which he hopes will translate to a strong community involvement in the program.
“We’ll have to see what happens,” said Lane. “You can only put out the information, encourage people to come, sign up and get involved, but obviously it’s a community driven thing.”
The MHA said that the problem isn’t just isolated to the Southlands area, but he’s hoping to see the problem nipped in the bud before the issue worsens again.
“I don’t think it’s isolated to Southlands, this stuff is happening all of the time,” said Lane. “But from what I’ve heard from people it seems to have gotten worse over the past number of months.”