Chase residents once again have an opportunity to hear from local police about property crime in the community.
The Village of Chase is hosting an open house/town hall meeting at the community hall this Thursday, Sept. 8.
The open house begins at 5 p.m., and will be an opportunity for the public to provide input on proposals relating to the neighbourhood golf cart project.
The town hall meeting, beginning at 7 p.m., will involve an update by the Village of Chase and police on what has been done to address local property crime concerns that resulted in a similar town hall meeting in April.
“We’ll be looking at the crime trends over the past few months to see if they’ve gone up or down and again, we’ll be dealing with personal property protection, encouraging people to lock up their outdoor tools and toys and so on and so forth, common sense things,” said Chase RCMP Sgt. Gary Heebner. “The main thing is to review what the past two months have been like in terms of the property crime rate in particular.”
Since the April town hall meeting, Heebner says he’s seen a positive trend in the crime rate.
“I think that has to do with the fact that certain individuals have been arrested and are in jail or have been in jail since the last meeting,” said Heebner. “And I think that has contributed because, for the most part, our property crimes are committed by a small number of people. When you take those people off the street, then of course your crime rate goes down suddenly. So we’re still seeing the benefit of having certain people in jail waiting for their trial dates and so forth.”
Once again, RCMP South East District criminal intelligence analyst Sarah Palmer will be on hand to provide statistical data regarding local crime rates, and maybe challenge local perceptions. Heebner said the April meeting was to address the perception in the community that the crime rate had spiked and was very high.
“At that time, our crime analyst showed that in fact that wasn’t really the case,” said Heebner. “The numbers weren’t as bad as people’s perception of them. But we have, over the last few months, seen a pretty significant decrease in property crime.”
With the open house, Village of Chase chief administrative officer Joni Heinrich says the intent is to get input on the golf cart project and where people want them and don’t want them. Four options will be on the table for residents to look at and discuss.
“We’ll hopefully make a decision next Tuesday at our council meeting about where these things can go,” said Heinrich, adding it’s possible the project could commence at the end of September. At this point, the village residents would have about a month to participate before winter road conditions become an issue.
Asked if the village might consider acquiring a golf cart of its own, Heinrich confirmed it has been mentioned, though no decisions have been made.
“We’ve talked about how even having one for public works would be really handy for just zipping around, closing washrooms at night and maybe picking up the odd garbage or putting flyers around town or what ever we need to do.”