Friday, May 6, 2011

Talk To Your Neighbours: Police Say No, But By-Laws Say Yes

I went to our local police station today to file a report regarding the landlord who threatened me with his van. It turns out that it was really only hearsay. It was a case of "he said" and "she said" and not much more. The officer did say he would make a note of our dropping by. And he did offer a bit of advice. He told us not to go down that back lane when that particular landlord is around. He said that would likely solve the issue. And he said I would be better off if I did not talk to anyone when I did my walks down the back lanes.
Then I remembered the article in the Free Press a few weeks ago, where Peter DeGraaf talked about people reporting issues to the By-Laws Department. He said we should be talking to our neighbours. Well, I guess I did talk to one of my neighbours. And he tried to run me down with his van. Or he tried to intimidate me by racing his van toward me, swerving at the last minute.
So, what the heck. The Police Department recommends not talking to any of my neighbours. And the City By-Laws Department says to confront my neighbour before reporting anything to the By-Laws Department. But in the end, neither Department really wants to do anything about the issues.
Meanwhile, the street has been crazy. We have had both Police and Fire on our street. And each time they show up, the "usual suspects" scatter. We see people running from one house to another, ditching stuff over fences. They relocate to less known diggs as they hide from authority. Whether anyone is after them or not, they scatter like rats leaving a sinking ship. We ended up flagging one of the Police Cars down to let them know what we saw. They weren't even looking for the people we saw, but ended up finding something of interest. And it turned into three cop cars on the street for a while. Then the one Police Officer commented that "the streets are over-run with criminals". You're telling me!
So, we have a neighbourhood over-run with criminals, and citizens wanting to help make change. And instead of encouraging citizens to help clean things up, it just seems like we are continually discouraged at every turn.
But I am not going to stop reporting bulky garbage being dumped in the lanes. And I am not going to stop reporting By-Law infractions. And I am not going to stop contacting all the departments I need to contact in my efforts to improve my neighbourhood. I just wish my City would give rats ass about us.
That's it for now, from my one street in the North End of Winnipeg.


  1. I heard the Guardian Angels were thinking of setting up a chapter in Winnipeg like the have done in Calgary and Vancouver. Maybe contact them through their website?

  2. I think they tried many years ago and the city and police were so hostile they didn't end up doing it. I may be wrong and it could have been another organization. The police won't protect you but God help anyone else who tries.

    This is typical and why the North End is such a struggle to clean up. The solution it appears according to the police, is that we all barricade ourselves inside our houses and let the a-----s rule. I think not. You might want to go a little higher up the food chain in the police department. I would file a complaint if I were you.

    At some point the frustration is going to make decent people start doing nasty things.

    I actually do respect the job the "on the street" police do in this neighborhood but telling you to stay in your house when this landlord is around is ridiculous. Wonder what he/she would have said if you lived in Tuxedo? Better question, if you lived in Tuxedo would you have taken that answer as the last word?

  3. If you want the By-Law folks to come by, perhaps this is how to get them there.
    They like to "prioritize", and clearly their priorities are different than yours, mine, and most every other citizen.

  4. I read that article with great interest. It's amazing how vigilant they are in other neighbourhoods. In my down moments, I think the city is happy to have the North End stay a S____H____ because then they have somewhere to put the people they don't want living next to them. Or, perhaps they wouldn't be so backed up if they spread themselves around more evenly.

    If he were my neighbour, he would be the least of my worries. Let's see, enterpreneur VS. wacked out drug dealer. I guess they are both in business, sort of.