One mugging in Corner Brook made residents stop and think. Allegations of a second one in a week created concern.
But Sheldon Peddle believes there is no need for widespread fear on the streets of Corner Brook.
The co-chairman of the Corner Brook Crime Prevention Committee said he hopes the incidents remain an anomaly and are not the beginning of a trend.
“Obviously it is concerning,” Peddle said. “It is rare to hear of such events in Corner Brook. We are a very safe community, so to hear of any such event is startling. To hear of two in one week, people are now very tuned in and aware, and rightfully concerned.”
The Corner Brook Crime Prevention Committee works with community partners to try and deter crime through public awareness and education campaigns.
Its effort thus far have been largely focused on schools and youth, and with the business community in an attempt to prevent fraud and counterfeiting.
Violent crimes and things like muggings — often linked, or perceived to have an association with drug use — have not been on the radar of the local committee. But they very well could be if that is the direction its members and partners deem a priority, says Peddle.
The committee has talked about the need fora neighbourhood watch system, but that could also expand to an effort with the business community to see if there is a way to make the downtown even safer than he believes it already is.
No matter how safe Corner Brook is perceived to be, Peddle said this week’s muggings are reminders that people need to be aware of their surroundings and take precautions to ensure their safety.
“Unfortunately, even when we do such, crime still does occur,” he said. “Certainly, the crimes we have heard of recently is evidence of that.”
The Corner Brook Crime Prevention Committee has been working with Crime Stoppers to expand the reaches of that provincial organization into western Newfoundland, said Peddle.
He said this type of criminal activity is something Crime Stoppers aims to help solve.
He says it is important to spread the message to the community that people can be vital in solving crimes.
It is important for witnesses or people with information — no matter how inconsequential it may appear to be — to report it. Crime Stoppers allows for that to be done anonymously.
The Western Star