February 8, 2019 4:52 pm
Updated: February 8, 2019 4:54 pm

Restaurant association says Winnipeg police should sweep eateries, bars to prevent late-night violence

Shaun Jeffrey of the Manitoba Restaurant and Foodservices Association on 680 CJOB.

Sam Thompson / Global News
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The recent shootings at Johnny G’s on Main Street aren’t the fault of the restaurant, says the Manitoba Restaurant & Foodservices Association – but rather an ongoing problem with late-night bars and eateries that needs to be addressed.

“It’s the nature of doing late-night business,” the association’s Executive Director, Shaun Jeffrey, told 680 CJOB.

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“It’s a required necessity for people to have a place to go, and grab some food or have some place to hang out later at night. It’s just turning into another issue that these restaurant owners are having to deal with on a regular basis, but there’s ways around it.”

READ MORE: Victims in Johnny G’s shootout died of ‘simultaneous gunshots’, police say

Jeffrey said other provinces, such as British Columbia, have implemented policies to help restaurant owners out by allowing police to go into restaurants and remove known criminals, including gang members.

Winnipeg police confirmed Friday that the Johnny G’s shooting was gang-related.

“An inadmissable patrons policy allows police to go into restaurants and bars and be able to remove known gang members and known associates of crime from the premises,” said Jeffrey.

“We’re saying maybe it’s time we start looking at that in Manitoba.”

Jeffrey said his association is open to working with police in the province to find a solution for keeping both patrons and staff safe.

“One of the staff members at Johnny G’s was injured, and this is just a staff person out there trying to feed their family,” he said.

“All they’re doing is just trying to do their job and they’re caught in the crossfire.”

Jeffrey said a first step might be for police to identify restaurants and bars where violence has repeatedly occurred, and to work with ownership to find a way to locate and remove sketchy characters.

“It’s just a battle of trying to be proactive rather than reactive,” he said.

WATCH: Serious Incident at Johnny G’s Restaurant

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