Sault downtown association looking for long-term crime fix
The Sault Ste. Marie Downtown Association is exploring other means of protecting businesses from crime.
The association has hired private security to patrol the downtown at night, while the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service has stepped up daytime patrols. However, some association members say it hasn't been enough.
Salvatore Marchese, president of the Downtown Association, is looking to other organizations across the province to get a sense of how to deal with security issues.
"It's not historically been a BIA's mandate to do security measures," said Marchese. "But in an ever evolving world, these things are starting to arise. So, it varies around the province. A lot of it is working with your other organizations in the city to see what you can do to assist those organizations."
Marchese said while incidents of violent crime and vandalism have subsided, security in the downtown core continues to be an issue for businesses. Paul Mason, a director on the Downtown Association board, said he's not sure how the problem can be solved without more police resources to investigate crime.
"Cameras are one thing -- Sudbury's had cameras for a while now," said Mason. "But I've had members who have said they have cameras and it doesn't really do a whole lot because there's not enough resources for police to follow up and go after those cases if they do have video proof."
Mason said continued use of a private security firm to patrol the downtown overnight may not be the best use of the association's money. Marchese, meantime, said the Downtown Association will discuss whether it wants to continue paying for private security. He said the issue of crime downtown is complicated and will require a number of community partners to solve it.