Dawson Creek business owners host community meeting regarding slew of recent break-and-enters

Taylor MacIntyre


This morning (Friday, October 26), Dawson Creek business owners met for an urgent community meeting.

The topic: the string of recent break-and-enters in the city's downtown core.

More than 25 residents, business owners and local dignitaries convened in a board room to share personal experiences, plausible solutions and to create a plan, in an attempt to feel safer in the community.

Dawson Creek RCMP Staff Sergeant Damon Werrell, says the force has implemented some things over the last couple weeks and couple months to help alleviate the concerns for property crime in Dawson Creek. 

"What I expressed at the meeting today is we're doing everything that we can and within our power to identify and deal with the suspects that are involved, but it takes more than just the RCMP detachment; it takes the community working together and that was the purpose of the meeting today and I think it was successful."

Staff Sergeant Werrell says the RCMP is implementing a new program starting this weekend - the 'Bait Car Program.'

It is designed to target those that are stealing vehicles and conducting property crime in the Mile Zero City. 

The RCMP add they have also increased their nightly patrols and visibility after dark to deter crime, along with having created a crime prevention information pamphlet for local residents and business owners.

According to Werrell, in their latest police report, Dawson Creek has had an increase of approximately 213 per cent in commercial break-and-enters when compared with the same time period last year. 
"I wanted to raise awareness," says the organizer of today's meeting and owner of local business, 'Happy Hobbit Curios,' Claudette Huber. "I think that the stats that are being thrown around and there's a false sense of security right now in Dawson Creek. I wanted to make those that can make those kinds of decisions about making changes for the good and for our safety and our enjoyment of Dawson Creek, that they feel uncomfortable and they are moved to action, because it is very prevalent in town." Huber adds, "We all have to get together; we all have to shout collectively and then our voice will be heard and there will be actions taken to remediate what's going on."

It appears that there were a few main ideas that everyone agreed on - accessing provincial funding when available, providing victim statements to spearhead change, and continuing to report crimes to the RCMP.

Moving forward, the group will organize a second meeting to set plans into motion and it will be open to all local small business owners.

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