Action, not words

Daniel MacEachern
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Crime-prevention chairwoman asks: what are you afraid of?

The chairwoman of the new St. John’s crime-prevention committee pledges the group’s focus will be on action, not words.

Announced by St. John’s Mayor Dennis O’Keefe last June, the committee held its first meeting Friday at City Hall, bringing together representatives from city council and staff, the John Howard Society, the English School District and Eastern Health, among others. Marie Ryan is the committee’s chairwoman.

“What indeed are the main catalysts?” asked Ryan, a former city councillor and deputy mayor. “We’re going to go out to people and say, what are you afraid of? What is it that you feel are the sources of crime? But we’re also going to lookfor the solutions.”

Committee members already have a good base of knowledge of what can be done, she said, and the committee will also pool that expertise and help people share their own strategies.

“So what is it that the school district is doing that the Community Youth Network or the John Howard Society or some other group can build on?” said Ryan. “And when we invite representation from key and critical groups in this city, we will ask them the same thing. What we will do is we’re hoping to develop a compendium of what’s everybody doing, and see where we might be able to make the linkages, and improve some of the activities that are going on for crime prevention.”

We know that even in the last number of years we’ve seen this burgeoning drug trade. We have youth sex workers. Marie Ryan, chairwoman, crime-prevention committee

Because the committee — which plans to meet monthly — reports to council, Ryan noted, it will need to able to demonstrate what it is accomplishing.

“We will, after the first couple of meetings, have a better sense of what it is we hope to achieve, and then as we go along we’ll monitor to make sure we’re heading in that direction,” she said. “We’re not going to be inflexible. We’re in a city, so lots of things can happen. We know that even in the last number of years we’ve seen this burgeoning drug trade. We have youth sex workers. … We’re not going to be inflexible in what we do, but we’re going to make sure that anything we do endeavour to do will be something that can have an impact.”

Organizations: John Howard Society, Community Youth

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Recent comments

  • Scared
    March 04, 2014 - 01:53

    You didn't mention domestic violence. There should be funding for women and children to get away, re-locate. I can't believe they cut the ankle bracelet program. Do you know how cheaply that could be done now with our technology. I will save a lot of womens lives. All you have to do is listen to us.

  • RATTER 01
    March 03, 2014 - 09:14

    Great choice for Chairperson.

  • Wild Rose
    March 03, 2014 - 07:37

    If all lawabidng taxpayers had the right to carry a weapon there would be no crime in the streets.

    • Angela
      March 03, 2014 - 09:57

      Yes... just like in the US, i hear they have no crime at all? oh my...

  • carogers
    March 03, 2014 - 06:20

    The problem is lack of response. Lack of enforcement of the already in place city by-laws and regulations Implement what is already on the "books" and a lot of problems will be taken care of. If a house is getting a visit from RNC every Friday night and the neighbourhood is under stress from the constant traffic all hours of the night and day. Then guess what the city should do...intervene before the place burns to the ground and kills someone.... which has happened already. We have Tessier Pl and Mckay St. and Gear St. and Lime St and all the other boarding house locations that are sources of neighbourhood problems. Respond to complaints. That might help.