Crime Watch: Point Douglas residents want more done about crime, stigma

Crime Watch: Point Douglas residents feel more needs to be done to combat crime in the area
WATCH: Property crime is a concern for Point Douglas residents as is the negative stigma attached to the area.

As Winnipeg continues to feel the effects of increased crime in the city, Global News is diving into concerns felt by local residents. In week three of our six-week series, we highlight concerns felt by Point Douglas residents.

With crime ramping up in Winnipeg, neighbourhoods across the city are feeling the impact, including the Point Douglas neighbourhoods.

Located in north-central Winnipeg, the Point Douglas area includes both north and south Point Douglas neighbourhoods. The area is outlined by Redwood Avenue to the north, Galt Avenue to the south with Main Street and the Red River outlining its west and east perimeters respectively.

Sel Burrows in North Point Douglas
Sel Burrows in North Point Douglas

According to numbers obtained by the Winnipeg Police Service, property crimes and crimes related to drugs and controlled substances have stayed stagnant from July 2018 to July 2019, however they still make up the most amount of crimes in the area.

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Residents and business owners in the area have noticed the trend.

READ MORE: Crime watch: West Broadway not immune to crime despite recent revitalization

“I got a dog house stolen out of my back yard, a whole dog house with shingles on it and everything,” resident Jeremy Taves said.

“Basically in the last five years we’ve been broken into two times.”

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“Once they stole the car and backed it out through the door, and the other time they came in through the window,” Minute Muffler Auto Manager Vern Hamill said.

North Point Douglas crime and safety concerns
North Point Douglas crime and safety concerns

The data also shows violent crimes in the area and criminal code traffic violations have spiked around 9 per cent within the last year.

“My daughter had her bike stolen at knife point this past June,” Point Douglas resident Karlee Anderson said.

But residents and business owners also note crime isn’t their only concern — public perception of the neighborhood also bothers them.

“There’s always been a stigma attached to the North End and Point Douglas,” said North End BIZ President, Keith Horn. “For as long as I can remember it’s always been, you know, Point Douglas is a working class area.”

READ MORE: Crime watch: St. James residents weigh in on illicit neighbourhood activity

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Community outreach groups like the Mama Bear Clan patrol the area, providing food and making connections with people in the area. Some members saying more needs to be done to help combat the underlying problems like poverty, homeless and addictions in the neighbourhood.

“We tend to have more of a focus on petty crime here, instead of the good work people are doing,” said community organizer Sharon Johnson.

“And I do feel like we need to have more supports for things like mental health and treatment and that’s what really hoping to have moving forward.”

Study finds addressing housing needs before mental health needs could help long-term homelessness
Study finds addressing housing needs before mental health needs could help long-term homelessness