Speeding, break-ins, indecent acts, fire: Guelph needs more cops

Safety and security: it's the second building block in Maslow's hierarchy of needs, yet more and more Guelphites are feeling unsafe.

  1. Speeding: In every part of #Ward6 I've visited, speeding - especially in school zones or on long open stretches - has been a top concern. While there are traffic calming options, enforcement is also vitally important. Not only does a speed trap catch some of the speeders, it serves as a deterrent - even after the officer is gone. 
  2. Break-ins: Whether it's in your driveway, going for a run at Starkey Hill or taking your dog for a walk at the Hanlon dog park, many people are reporting vehicle break-ins. It's not necessarily the value of what is taken but a violation of people's privacy and sense of security and the pain in the butt of replacing what was lost or broken. Increased patrols could help.
  3. Indecent acts: We've all read about these. Gross!!! Enough said. Let's make sure we have the resources to catch these guys.
  4. Park fires and vandalism: the Port-o-potty behind my home has been torched three times. I'm hearing other accounts of vandalism in parks. We pay for these services and we deserve to feel safe in our neighbourhoods. 

Guelph's Crime Severity Index is rising. According to StatsCan, "from 2016 to 2017, more than half of Canada's CMAs reported increases in their CSI. The largest rises in the CSI were in Greater Sudbury (+25%), Moncton (+15%), Guelph (+15%) and Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo (+14%)." It's not just a number - people are feeling it. You can even check out crime stats on this Guelph Police Services crime map.

While some of the issues are complex and involve addictions or mental health, properly resourcing our police department is a step in the right direction. I worked with the Guelph Police Service in the lead up to the Special Olympics Ontario 2016 Provincial Spring Games. I think they have an incredibly difficult job. I have huge respect for our officers and would like to see more of them on the street.

I know that more police officers are not "the" answer, but they are part of the answer. Let's also explore community solutions like Neighbourhood Watch and infrastructure like lighting, red light cameras, etc.