Over the past few months, I've been contacted by several neighbours concerned about crime and safety in Ward 25. Toronto is currently ranked the safest city in North America, but I want to ensure that residents continue to feel safe and secure in our neighbourhoods. For this reason, I organized a forum to address local incidents and learn more about the long-term action plan for the Toronto Police Service (TPS).
More than 300 residents gathered at the Lawrence Park Community Church in February to voice their concerns to the TPS officials in attendance, including Chief Mark Saunders, Superintendent Rob Johnson, of the 32 and 33 Division, and senior officials from the 53 Division.
Chief Saunders highlighted the new strategy to modernize policing in the City of Toronto. For example, TPS division boundaries are currently being reconfigured to align with neighbourhoods and streamline resources. In Ward 25, the divisions bordering Bayview Avenue will be consolidated to better serve our community.
The overarching concern expressed by the neighbours during the concluding question period was the high number of break-and-enters in Ward 25. In response, TPS officials suggested several preventative tips and strategies, including:
- Make your home look "lived in" while you are away for an extended period of time by:
- arranging for a neighbour to park in your empty driveway;
- using timers to maintain normal lighting patterns;
- temporarily halting mail delivery;
- asking a neighbour to put a garbage bin in front of your house on collection day.
- Contact your respective divisional Crime Prevention Officers for assistance in developing a customized home security strategy. You can find your local police division contact, here.
Above all, the TPS representatives emphasized the importance of community cooperation and reiterated their commitment to proactive policing in our neighbourhoods. I would encourage you to report any suspicious activity you observe, as the police use reporting data to direct resources.
All non-emergency situations and suspicious activity can be reported to 416-808-222, or online.