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Public Safety forum held in River Heights amidst rising crime
Trinity Sigurdson believed her stuff was safe in her River Heights home, especially when she was in it. When her daughter's bike vanished from the garage a month ago, her feelings changed.
"It was very scary," said Sigurdson. "You think, oh if someone's going to break in, it's when they see cars leave. And so yeah, it's kind of frightening."
Sigurdson said she's not the only resident to face crime problems in her neighborhood.
In recent years, thieves have smashed a number of vehicle windows, and there have been reports of break-ins.
"In the last 3 or 4 years, this thing has spiraled out of control," said River Heights-Fort Garry City Council candidate Garth Steek.
Steek said the meth crisis is fueling a dramatic increase in crime.
He organized a public safety forum that includes the Winnipeg Police Association and former Winnipeg Police Chief Devon Clunis.
"I think its incumbent on us as citizens to take a stand," said Steek. "That's what elections are for, to discuss issues."
Current area city councilor John Orlikow agrees crime is an issue for the neighborhood. He said he's held several forums about it in the community, but questions the value of Steek's forum.
"It's an election launch. It's an election rally," said Orlikow. "I just hope people understand what it actually is."
The Police Association said it isn't attending the forum to endorse any particular candidate.
"But we're going to take every available opportunity to go and speak to the citizens of Winnipeg," said Association President Maurice Sabourin, "because we believe they have the number one concern in this election is public safety.
Still, River Heights-Fort Garry candidate Gary Lenko believes this talk may all be premature.
"The police have already issued a statement saying they're going to be coming up with a solution to the meth problem, which is tied in to the crime problem. And I'd like to wait and see what that is before we start having discussions about it."
The forum will be taking place at the River Heights Community Centre at 7pm.