The area has had two homicides, a suspicious death, and a break and enter with weapons in the past two weeks.
Partridge, the safety coordinator for the neighbourhood’s community association, says the crime streak is a symptom of inaction.
“Our system has left things for so long that it’s created this mess. People are dying because of the thinking that next year we’ll look at that or next year we’ll look at this,” he said.
Partridge has lived in the neighbourhood for 10 years and said this recent crime streak is one of the worst he’s seen.
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He vividly remembers the break and enter. Moments before it occurred the suspects threatened him by shoving a shotgun into his face.
The incident occurred around 2 a.m. on July 29. He and a co-worker were sitting in his truck parked next to Pleasant Hill Park. They were guarding a gospel group’s equipment ahead of Canada Day celebrations.
Police are looking for the suspects and are investigating the homicides and suspicious death.
Partridge is former gang member who is now dedicated to improving the lives of those in his neighbourhood. Besides being the community safety coordinator he also works with Str8 Up, a gang diversion group.
Partridge said poverty and a lack of services for addiction and mental health, among other factors, contribute to the crime in the area. He said the recent streak is just a symptom of inaction.
He said people from the community have reached out to him and his co-worker regarding being threatened with a shotgun but that “the people who matter most, the police and the city have not said a single word to us about this yet.”
He said the community association has had several meeting with city officials and that they intend to have many more. But he said nothing short of serious change will make a difference, and that band-aid solutions aren’t enough.
“Our youth aren’t supposed to be seeing this stuff on our streets,” Partridge told Global News.
“They’re supposed to grow up and have a happy childhood and not remember the murder that was on their block when they were eight-years-old.”