Angry North Bay residents gather at courthouse to protest crime in the city
NORTH BAY -- With signs in hand and everyone standing behind the same message, about a dozen protesters gathered outside the courthouse in North Bay on Tuesday.
The demonstration started at 9:30 a.m. with a handful of angry citizens gathered together despite the rain.
“We are protesting because of the crime here in North Bay,” said organizer Jaime McVeety, who has dealt first-hand with break-ins and robberies in her home. “We are tired of being re-victimized, we are tired of the criminals getting less then a slap on the wrist. It just needs to stop. Harsher punishments need to happen. Punishments need to happen.”
Alongside her sister, Leslie McVeety, who shares the home and has also had to deal with the crime, the sisters want to see real change in the city.
'They know they can get away with it'
“If they don’t have any consequences for their behaviour, they’re going to keep reoffending and that’s what’s going on,” said Leslie. “They know they can get away with it, so why not?”
“After reading all the comments on Facebook and other social media, we just figured this is not only happening to us,” said Jaime. “It’s happening everywhere and it’s time to make a stand. Enough is enough!”
The protest was expected to continue until 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, with people coming and going depending on their availability.
This is the first protest the McVeetys have organized, but they said there could be more in the future.
“We’ll continue until something is done, I’m tired of this,” said Leslie. “We want sentences or rehab or something for, especially repeat offenders. I am good with giving someone a second chance if it’s not a big crime or something like that, but when it’s offense after offense after offense, it’s not OK. Something needs to be done.”
Jamie said after the first break-in and robbery in August, it’s been ongoing.
“I’m tired of being re-victimized," she said. "We spoke earlier in the month and the house was broke into Aug. 29 and there’s still multiple attempts with the most recent being three weeks ago and nothing’s being done.
“This was once our home, it’s no longer a home. It’s just not.”
Although the protest was held outside the courthouse, those attending said the message is for everyone in the city.
“(We’re) speaking out to council, the police, the courts, mental health people, drug addiction places, we’ve got to come up with a better answer,” said Karen.
“This is just so wrong.”