LETTER: Help take the lead in crime prevention


Editor: Recently, I received a phone call that no business owner in Chatham-Kent ever wants to receive. It was news that our establishment in Wallaceburg had been targeted in a break-and-enter.

Naturally, my immediate concern was for everyone’s well-being. However, it also struck me that I should have replaced the stolen cameras weeks ago. As active members of this community, we are determined not to let incidents like this become the accepted norm. We firmly believe that everyone should have the right to feel safe and secure within their community.

This incident sparked a realization that we cannot rely solely on law enforcement to address the issue. It is our collective responsibility to take action and make Chatham-Kent one of the safest communities in Ontario.

Following the break-in, we immediately implemented security measures to prevent such incidents in the future. As a proactive step, a new camera system was installed, barriers were removed, and the lighting around our building was increased to eliminate hiding spots. These measures have proven effective, as we have not encountered any further issues since their implementation.

We took the lead in connecting with various stakeholders, including government officials, community leaders, and law enforcement agencies. It was encouraging to see that everyone recognized the urgency of the situation and expressed their willingness to support efforts to make our community safer.

The Chatham-Kent police have recently announced an increase in funding, which will significantly contribute to improving safety measures.

As one community member aptly stated, “Our communities get what we are willing to tolerate.” Indeed, it is time for us to collectively declare that we will not tolerate this senseless crime any longer. We acknowledge the efforts made over the past five years, but recognize the need for a more significant impact to curb criminal activity.

To achieve this goal, I propose several suggestions to further improve the safety and security of our community:

• Strengthen Community Policing: Encourage increased police presence and engagement within the community. Foster partnerships between law enforcement agencies and community organizations to promote trust, communication, and collaboration.

• Enhance Neighborhood Watch programs: Empower residents to actively participate in the protection of their neighbourhoods. Educate and inform citizens on crime prevention strategies and create a network of vigilant community members who can report suspicious activities or concerns.

• Improve surveillance and lighting: Encourage businesses and residents to install and maintain quality surveillance systems and adequate lighting in high-risk areas. This will act as a deterrent for potential criminals and provide valuable evidence for law enforcement investigations.

• Implement crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED): Adopt CPTED principles in urban planning and development to create safer and more secure environments. This includes strategies such as designing well-lit, open spaces, installing security features, and promoting natural surveillance.

• Foster community engagement: Organize regular community meetings, town halls, and workshops to facilitate open dialogue and collaboration between residents, businesses, law enforcement, and government officials. This will allow for the exchange of ideas, concerns, and potential solutions.

By implementing these suggestions and fostering a collective effort, I believe that Chatham-Kent can become one of the safest communities in Ontario. Let us come together, mobilize resources, and make a lasting impact on the safety and security of our community.

Jordan Kniaziew 



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