Oshawa’s mayor is asking Durham police for more help addressing crime in the city’s downtown.
Dan Carter told the Durham Regional Police Service Board that Oshawa is home to approximately 80 per cent of Durham’s unsheltered population and that coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, the city is experiencing heightened challenges and issues.
He says the area has been overrun with open drug use, assaults, vandalism, break and enters and public urination.
Carter called on the Board to commit to three key initiatives
- Funding – provide sufficient funding to ensure that the DRPS Central East Division in Oshawa has the proper resources to hold accountable those who are breaking the law and to do so year-round, 24/7.
- Foot patrols – rotate the staffing of foot patrols to generate new ideas and solutions to address the various issues and challenges in the downtown. The downtown foot patrols are critical and required year-round, 24/7.
- Partnerships – develop a partnership with the BIA to implement a CCTV program that would see cameras located in key locations in the downtown to deter criminal behaviour and to use as an effective tool for investigation. Additionally, the Mayor highlighted that a stronger partnership between the City and DRPS is crucial.
“We have been hearing from community members that they no longer feel safe visiting downtown Oshawa due to unlawful and disrespectful behaviour,” said Carter. “Ensuring that our families, seniors and all residents feel safe to visit and are comfortable to work, shop, dine and learn in the downtown is a top priority.”