|Council considers curfew|
|Local Content - Local News|
|Written by publisher|
|Wednesday, 11 April 2012 21:28|
|A recent string of vandalism has the town considering enforcing a curfew for children and youth. Council discussed putting a curfew in place for children 16 and under during its regular meeting on April 10. If enforced, it would require all children to be off the streets by 9 p.m. during the week and 11 p.m. on weekends. Mayor Barry Rudd said the town has debated developing a curfew bylaw for years, but an increase in vandalism and mischief over the past two weeks has council and RCMP looking at it more closely. "Lately they seem to be getting a little bit more regular... and more destructive and dangerous now," he explained. A number of signs have been pulled out or damaged throughout Maple Creek recently, as well as storm drain covers removed. Council met with Sgt. Jeremy Allard of the Maple Creek RCMP to discuss how a curfew could be enforced. He reported municipalities such as Kindersley, Unity and Kerrobert already have curfews in place to keep children indoors after dark. However, some communities have difficulty enforcing the bylaw, as it requires volunteers to drive around and ensure children are not walking the streets. Rudd noted the town recognizes not all vandalism is committed by children under 16. Councillor Tina Cresswell said residents should not be afraid to contact the proper authorities if they see vandalism, theft or any other crimes being committed in the community. "I have no problem calling the police station... or calling 9-1-1 if I think it merits it, and I think that's every citizen's duty to keep us safe," she stated. With the Communities in Bloom Committee and initiatives such as the Main Street Program working to improve and beautify the town, council is concerned vandals will devastate the hard work and money put into local projects. "We're trying to make our town look good... and they could destroy thousands of dollars of work in 10 minutes," Rudd pointed out. "We're at our wits end. We don't know how we're going to stop it. It's by no means a crisis yet, but if we put our foot down now it won't be." The curfew would also allow parents to know where their children are at night, Rudd said. He attributed much of the vandalism committed by children to boredom, as the town doesn't have a youth centre. Youth are welcome to present their feelings on the proposed curfew to council. "Maybe the young kids will come in as a delegation and speak against it, because why should they pay for the four or five or six that are (vandalizing)?" Rudd stated. The town will draft a curfew bylaw and allow the public to review it and provide feedback.|
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