Criminal element always lurking behind the scenes in Chemainus, Crofton

Most of it goes unreported to the public except by word of mouth

New residents are arriving constantly in the Chemainus and Crofton areas. A recurring comment from the newcomers is they’re absolutely loving it here.

This is indeed paradise for so many reasons, but there’s still a huge black mark on our communities that isn’t going away. The rapid rise in incidents of crime is alarming.

The few Block Watches that previously existed are being expanded in Crofton, and Chemainus is following suit. There’s another Block Watch meeting coming up on Oct. 18 at the Crofton Community Centre.

It’s getting to the point that Block Watches are going to be needed in virtually every neighbourhood to nip these criminals in the bud.

It’s still not overly clear where all the criminals are coming from – if they’re locals, transients drifting through the area, homeless people or a combination. A lot are being fueled by drug addictions, severely affecting their mental capacities.

A few shady characters have been seen lingering around who are starting to look familiar as regular troublemakers.

Much of the crime going on you won’t read about in this newspaper. The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment, already with a minimal presence in Chemainus and Crofton, doesn’t have the staffing to issue regular news releases to alert the public.

In the good old days, the Chemainus detachment and the local newspaper had a great rapport and details would be published about police incidents on a weekly basis, no matter how small.

It’s almost impossible to get much of that information now unless it comes from the community first.

We know there was a break-in at the Chemainus United Church the evening of a Ken Lavigne concert there. Police were spotted the next day at the site, but did not respond to an inquiry about what happened.

It’s important for the community to be cognizant of all police matters, and practice due diligence. By being strong and a united force in any way possible – be it sharing information or just being on the lookout – we can ensure the criminal element does not become any more prominent and ruin the wonderful way of life we otherwise enjoy.

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