Prince Albert, Sask. considering alley, walkway curfew

Click to play video 'Prince Albert, Sask. considering alley, walkway curfew' Prince Albert, Sask. considering alley, walkway curfew
WATCH ABOVE: There's a debate in Prince Albert on whether a curfew could help deal with high levels of crime – Aug 26, 2019

Prince Albert city council is looking at a curfew to restrict late-night access to alleys and walkways in order to deal with high rates of crime, but people are divided on whether it will work.

Coun. Terra Lennox-Zepp is concerned about some of the discussion that took place in chambers last week in the northern Saskatchewan city.

READ MORE: Kingston resident proposes curfew for Gordon Edgar Downie Pier

Council spoke about restricting access to alleys and walkways after dark by putting a curfew in place, something she said is worrying.

“Examples were raised that a shift worker walking their dog, a husband and wife walking and holding hands, they should not be in violation of the bylaw. But somebody else would be. And my question is, ‘who is that somebody else?’” Lennox-Zepp said.

Story continues below advertisement

The councillor said discussions came up about police officers’ ability to ask for identification.

Prince Albert currently has a similar bylaw in place in city parks.

READ MORE: 35 people with gang ties arrested in Prince Albert, Sask.

The city’s police service has seen an increase in break-and-enters this summer. July saw more than 100 break-and-enters while the same month in 2018 had around 60.

The Prince Albert Police Service has since created a task force to help solve and reduce property crimes across the city.

“Often times we would send them to court on one offence and missing the linkages to other offences. The goal of this task force will be to make some of those linkages,” Insp. Brent McDonald said.

Global News reached out to Coun. Ted Zurakowski who proposed looking into the idea of a curfew. He declined to comment.

The city is reviewing how the bylaw would function.

“I really take issue with that. That when we are creating a bylaw that restricts some people and not others, that can really contribute to racism in our city,” Lennox-Zepp said.

Story continues below advertisement

She added the city would also be forced to put up signs at either end of a walkway and alley, something that could cost thousands of dollars which would be passed on to taxpayers.

The proposal is expected to be debated during upcoming council meetings.