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Ward 2 town hall to look at rise in break-ins and vandalism

Community worried not only about increase but also how brazen they are, says councillor
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A special town hall meeting is planned for Thursday to address the issue of break-ins and vandalism in Ward 2.

Councillors James Gordon and Andy Van Hellemond organized the meeting after being approached by citizens concerned about the issues.

The meeting takes place at the Evergreen Centre starting at 7 p.m.

“It seems to be getting worse. The particular neighbourhoods that have requested the meeting are the ones on either side of the river - Dufferin Street on one side and Arthur Street on the other,” Gordon said.

“They’ve really noticed an increase in the frequency but also how emboldened they are, happening in broad daylight.”

Guelph police community officer Const. Arif Hasham will be on hand to discuss the issues and perhaps offer some insight and advice on what can be done about it within the community.

“He said he had some ideas on how to get the community involved in monitoring and reporting,” Gordon said.

“I think as councillors we’ve heard what the issues are, but we haven’t been able to opt around any firm action around it.”

Gordon said there are “big picture” and “little picture” issues at play.

Homelessness and opioid use can be part of big picture issues that result in certain types of illegal behaviour and need big picture solutions. Other issues are more immediate.

“Some are saying ‘this is happening now, we need some immediate solutions, we don’t feel safe in our homes right now,’” Gordon said.

Others are concerned about group homes in the neighbourhood and people living along the river, but Gordon said that’s not the root cause of the issue.

“You can’t just shove the problem down the street,” he said. “We don’t just want to send them to someone else’s neighbourhood.”