Ste Agathe to form neighbourhood watch group
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This article was published 09/05/2021 (459 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Residents of Ste Agathe are looking to make their neighbours feel safer and strengthen their community by starting a Citizens on Patrol Program to have extra eyes and ears on crime in the town.
The Community Development Inc. organization took the reins on starting the resident-ran group as it falls in line with their goal of socioeconomic development in the area.
Claude Lemoine, president of the CDI, said it was the rising break-ins and property crime that led to interest in beginning the patrolling program.
“You’re looking on social media and you’re hearing about these break-ins and so you want to do something,” he said. “So we thought we could take the lead and organize it.”
In partnership with the St Pierre RCMP, the detachment responsible for Ste Agathe’s jurisdiction, the group will be designed to keep an extra eye out for suspicious activity happening in the neighbourhood. If anything looks off, it’s their responsibility to alert the authorities, not take matters into their own hands.
“The RCMP don’t want any of our volunteers in a position where their safety is jeopardized,” Lemoine said.
While he said there hasn’t been any outright increase in crime in the area, Lemoine hopes the formation of the group will deter potential crime from happening in the first place.
RCMP data shows property crime in the East district of the province has increased 3.4 percent in March 2021 as compared to the same time last year, with mischief calls totaling 417 as compared to 301 in 2020.
In addition to the formation of the COPP, which has a few residents already signed up for when the group gets off the ground, Lemoine said the CDI is looking work with the RM of Ritchot to have security cameras installed in ‘strategic’ places around town for some extra awareness.
“There’s only so many ways to come into town so if you set up cameras you can catch people as they enter,” he said.
While the COPP is still in its infancy, residents looking to join the program are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.