A rare series of sensational crimes in Placentia has caused fear in the community, the mayor said, pleading for a stronger police presence.
Mayor Keith Pearson told CBC News, “Things are changing within the community, and that’s not a good thing.
However, RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jolene Garland said there were no vacancies in the Placencia Whitbourne detachment.
With the recent spike in cases, Garland said, “It’s certainly not surprising that this is very concerning for people within the community.”
“We are well equipped to deal with the crime that is taking place.”
Garland said it was not surprising that residents were alarmed by the recent incident, which included recommendations for residents in some areas of town to stay home. However, she described them as “spikes”.
“At this point, it doesn’t seem to be a trend, as opposed to the surge in calls for service,” says Garland.
There is an RCMP detachment in Placentia, but the mayor says help is often available from the Whitborn detachment more than 40 kilometers away.
“A lot can happen in an hour because that’s the response time we have now,” says Pearson.
Garland said some detachments in the state were understaffed and a recruitment campaign was underway to try to strengthen the ranks of the unit. said.
Mayor responding to phone calls from officials
Placentia is a town of over 3,300 residents located on Placentia Bay, about 120 kilometers southwest of St. John’s. The town is most likely to be talked about for its connection to the port of Argentia, its unique lift bridge, or its rich history as a battlefield between the British and French who fought for control of the fishing industry in the 18th century.
But instead of defending the town’s economic opportunity, Pearson spends much of his time answering calls from interested residents.
“Talk to parents with young children who are too scared to let them play. Talk to older adults who feel the need to close their curtains during the day. These are the stories I hear. said Pearson.
The fear factor escalated just before Christmas after heavily armed police officers swarmed several parts of the town and responded to violent home invasions.
Two men armed with guns and baseball bats broke into the residence, police said. A man and a woman in the residence were attacked, and the man was shot dead.
The alleged home burglars were arrested separately the next day, and one of them was captured by emergency response teams after barricading their home.
Both men have been charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault, as well as other criminal charges.
The shooting and ensuing manhunt, which featured police in military uniforms and assault rifles and large tactical vehicles, was one of a series of high-profile incidents in the town, Pearson said.
In my nine years as mayor or deputy mayor and as a municipal leader, I have never answered so many calls about fear and anxiety.– Keith Pearson
“In my nine years as mayor or deputy mayor and as a municipal leader, I have never taken so many calls about fear and anxiety,” Pearson said.
Over the past 12 months, Placentia has transformed from a quiet town where people rarely lock their doors to a place where some residents fortify their homes with increased security and lighting, according to the mayor. .
fear of retaliation
CBC News spoke last week to a woman from Placentia who was the victim of a home break-in last year and a couple who used a kitchen chair to stop a man from breaking down their front door earlier this month.
CBC News has agreed not to identify the victims.
“It was the scariest, most terrifying experience of my life. As a result, I will never be the same,” said the woman.Upper level.
“It was like a movie. You hear a crescendo of music, you hear footsteps, the doorknob turns. ‘I have a gun.'” I was told.
Intruder Sherlock Jonathan Stacy was eventually arrested and convicted, but the homeowner still lives in fear.
“So now I have all sorts of security systems, all sorts of lights. I’m a demented, crazy little woman looking through the blinds at two in the morning to see if there’s anyone in the street.” It’s like.”
Earlier this month, a couple was disturbed by loud noises before dawn. When the homeowners went to investigate, they found a man trying to kick in the front door and shouting threats. The desperate homeowner pushed a kitchen chair against the door and he waited an hour for police to arrive.
Again, Sherlock Jonathan Stacey, who has returned to Placentia after serving time in a previous home invasion, is a suspect. Stacey is arrested and faces numerous charges, including illegal possession of a firearm.
If someone’s safety is at risk and someone calls for help, Garland said officers would respond “as quickly as possible.” But factors such as the location of officers and road conditions can affect response times, she said.
Meanwhile, the mayor blames the escalation of the local drug scene and the migration of people with known criminal records into town, like Stacey, for the worsening situation.
“There’s a feeling that it’s not what it used to be,” he said.
PM ‘ready to invest’ in police
Town leaders have conveyed their concerns to Public Safety Minister John Horgan and the RCMP. The mayor said there are also plans to hold public meetings.
Pearson, meanwhile, said he was encouraged by comments made by Prime Minister Andrew Fury in an interview with VOCM on January 18.
When asked about crime and policing in the state, the prime minister said his government was “ready to invest” in enhanced police services.
“I would certainly be one of those people who would reach out and say, ‘I want more policing here.’ .