Neighbourhood Watch program established in Mindemoya

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MINDEMOYA – The Mindemoya Neighbourhood Watch program has only been established for about a week and it has already paid off when the group alerted the police about a break and enter in progress and helped squelch the occurrence.

One of the organizers of the new Mindemoya Neighbourhood Watch program, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Recorder on Tuesday that establishing a local neighbourhood watch group was “most definitely needed, and long overdue. There have been many incidents over the past year or two in our community, and it is getting worse.”

“Neighbourhood Watch is a great program and it was demonstrated the other day how effective it is, when a suspect was caught in a break and enter in progress,” she explained. Everyone in the Mindemoya Neighbourhood Watch program, “are all on a private Facebook that was set up for our community only, and when the (suspect) went right into the house, and this was reported on Facebook within minutes to make everyone aware of what was going on that, for example, people needed to lock their doors. It is all a matter of looking after each other.”

“Yes, we helped establish a Neighbourhood Watch program in Mindemoya,” said Constable Marie Ford, Community Safety Officer with the Manitoulin detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), after a meeting in Mindemoya last Thursday attended by about 25 residents. “One of the main reasons the community wanted to get this program started is because of the number of thefts in the community recently. The community members wanted to do more, come together and provide a more united front.”

“At the meeting last night block captains were established in the community,” said Constable Ford. “As well, a Facebook page link has been established by one of the members of the committee. The block captains will be reaching out to residents in other areas of the community.”

The committee is also looking into getting signs posted throughout the community, said Constable Ford. In her role with the OPP the constable, “talked a lot about the prevention steps, like lock it or lose it, for residents to keep observing your street, for neighbours to watch for and report things that look and appear to be concerning, for instance if someone is observed looking into vehicles.”

Establishing a neighbourhood watch program, “is basically going back to basics,” said Constable Ford. “The idea/concept has been in place for ages. She had first heard of the idea of having one in the Mindemoya area “after reading some comments online about the need to get this program started (in Mindemoya).” She contacted the local person who had posted the message online and things started from there. 

“Things are a lot different now with the use of social media, it used to be that you would have to call each person when something was taking place or information needed to be communicated, now this type of information can be posted instantaneously. But, the key is you still have to have community engagement in the neighbourhood watch program, as it is the community that runs the program in their particular community,” said Constable Ford.
“We had a fantastic group of people meet last night,” said Constable Ford. She noted that the program was established, a Facebook page has been set up for those in the community who are members of the program, and block captains were established. “I was very impressed with the group. They expressed frustration in what is happening in the community and felt it was necessary to come together and create a Neighbourhood Watch program,” added Constable Ford.

On November 15, at approximately 5:10 pm, officers from the Manitoulin detachment of the OPP, with the assistance of the United Chiefs and Councils of Manitoulin (UCCM) Anishnaabe Police, responded to a break and enter in progress at a residence in Mindemoya.

Officers arrested the suspect on Highway 551 in possession of stolen property. Investigation revealed that the suspect had broken into a second residence nearly.

As a result, 32-year-old Kimel Corbiere from Mindemoya has been charged with: two counts of break, enter dwelling house, commit indictable offence; fail to comply with probation order; and possession of a Schedule 1 substance, other drugs.

The accused was scheduled to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice at Bail Court in Gore Bay on November 18.

The Manitoulin OPP, in the release, noted they would like to thank the Mindemoya Neighbourhood Watch for their assistance.