Safety and security

Ward 3 Coun. Evert Botha speaks to a local resident after Thursday’s neighbourhood meeting at Riverside Public School. Botha, who sits of the Board of Police Commissioners, said law enforcement resources are stretched thin, which makes programs like the neighbourhood watch even more important. (Jason Kerr/Daily Herald)

Ward 3 residents raise concern about everything from bylaw infractions to gang activity at neighbourhood meeting

A familiar topic reared it’s head again on Thursday as residents from across Ward 3 gathered for the city’s third neighbourhood meeting of the year.

Numerous attendees raised questions about crime levels in the area, a concern that included every from bylaw infractions to sex working and gang activity.

Prince Albert police chief Troy Cooper, who has attended all neighbourhood meetings so far, said they work hard to have a visible presence in the ward, but officers can’t be everywhere at once.

“We do have limited resources,” Cooper said during a question and answer session. “The world has finite resources, and we do the best we can with them.”

While a number of residents brought up problems with poorly maintained rental properties, the most serious concerns were related to prostitution and gangs.

One resident, who declined to give her name, said it wasn’t uncommon to run into gang members while out walking, and prostitution activity was becoming so common her neighbours were being propositioned on their front steps.

She commended the police for arriving on scene as quickly as possible, but said they’re often too late to do anything. She’d like to see a more efficient approach to the problem.

For more on this story, please see the Jan. 21 print or e-edition of the Daily Herald