June Focus: Safety and Security

The Cabbagetown community is a relatively safe and secure neighbourhood; serious crimes happen infrequently. That said, like most urban neighbourhoods, unsavory and disrespectful activities occur in public places like parks, school grounds and laneways as well as private property.

Residents shared their opinions and concerns regarding the safety and security of Cabbagetown via the 2013 Community Survey:

– 88% feel strongly that they are safe in Cabbagetown during the day
– 75% feel strongly that they are safe in Cabbagetown during the night
– 42% feel strongly that Cabbagetown needs an active community watch program

Laneways are an important part of our history and, love them or hate them, contribute to the cultural fabric of this wonderful and unique neighbourhood.

In June 2013, the CRA Safety & Security Committee partnered with the Community Response Unit (CRU) with 51 Division (Police Services) to conduct safety walks in laneways that presented safety and security risks as identified by local residents.  Several laneways were nominated by residents and two safety walks were scheduled; the goals of these safety walks were;
– to identify problem areas that may benefit from increase police presence (even on a temporary basis)
– encourage residents to contact police should they have any concerns or witness disrespectful or illegal activities, confirm police contact information and available services
– discuss the many ways residents and homeowners can proactively limit crimes of opportunity and unsavory activity through laneway clean up and maintenance.

In follow up to a safety walk conducted last year, the CRA and local residents collaborated to clean up Gordon Sinclair Lane. This laneway was nominated by several residents and homeowners who live on Carlton St and Geneva St (just south of Riverdale Park West, east of Sumach St). The laneway serves and as a convenient conduit for individuals who frequent Riverdale Park West and Spruce Court Public School grounds for illegal, disrespectful activities.

On June 8th, 2014, more than twenty local residents and a handful of CRA board members volunteered a few hours of their time to pull weeds, prune overgrown plant material and trees that were obscuring sightlines and light (creating hiding places), pick up garbage and household waste that was discarded in the laneway, and sweep (and sweep and sweep).  Three hours and more than 60 yard waste bags later, the laneway is cleaner, brighter, pruned, and importantly, looks well cared for and ‘attended to’ – all things recommended by police to deter unsavory activity.

On behalf of the CRA, thank you to all residents who participated in the safety walks and volunteered their time to clean Gordon Sinclair Lane. Based on the success of this initiative, the CRA is interested in collaborating with other residents and homeowners who would like to ‘adopt’ their laneway.

Please contact the CRA at info@cabbagetowner.com

Safety & Security Committee

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