Some 20 residents of Scranton in George Town raised concerns about the soaring number of crimes in their community during a two-hour meeting with police Tuesday night at Scranton park, off Shedden Road.
According to police, 317 crimes have been reported in the area since January.
George Town Police Commander Angelique Howell, who arranged the meeting, said concerns ranged from “lack of friendliness and courteousness from some new police officers,” to the “boldness of the drug users who light up their drugs on any street corner in front of anyone.”
Chief Inspector Howell said residents also reported being harassed by mentally ill people begging on local streets, who became aggressive when the residents refused to hand over money.
She said the 317 crimes were not “necessarily by residents” but were being carried out by people visiting the area or those “harbored in the area by residents.”
Crimes reported in the area this year involved drugs, gambling, street robberies, harassment, thefts and antisocial behavior, she said.
Ms. Howell, together with Scranton Beat Officer Cornelius Pompey and Police Constable Brian Jameson, led the meeting and discussed some of the police initiatives to address the community’s concerns.
A possible solution discussed was for officers to form a partnership with local businesses to create a “business watch program.”
Scranton Community Committee leader Dale Ramoon and Community Development Officer Dorline Welcome outlined some of the work of the Scranton community to improve the image of the area.
Mr. Ramoon said the group is developing a mentoring program for the young male residents, and called on local businesses for support.
Chief Inspector Howell said, “It was a very healthy meeting, everyone was talking and providing suggestions that can be sustainable once implemented correctly.”