Frustrated with break ins and graffiti at his building in Ponoka, Murray Mackay is speaking out in the hopes that a resolution can be found to his troubles.
He says unknown culprits have damaged his windows, taken items and more recently sprayed blue graffiti at his property on 5301 50 Street. Mackay uses the building as a birdhouse workshop and sells them to different charities.
“It’s all for charity,” said Mackay.
His frustration stems from having his front windows smashed in, and having to replace equipment and yet it appears there is nothing the police can do to stop the recurring incidents.
Cpl. Jeff Sehn recommends any such incidents be reported to police, whether or not victims think it can be solved.
“It allows us to find trends and patterns to target our patrols,” explained Sehn.
Other options to deal with and mitigate similar problems, as recommended by the RCMP, are to have good lighting on a property, keeping it clear and tidy and locking doors.
Sehn said another option is for owners to get to know their neighbours and exchange contact numbers in the event there is an issue.
RCMP have also released a document called Crime Prevention through Environmental Design. Primarily directed to architects, planners and builders, there are recommendations that may help building owners.
Here are key points in the document:
• Territoriality: fostering residents’ interaction and vigilance over their neighbourhood;
• Surveillance: maximize ways to spot suspicious people or activities;
• Activity support: encourage the intended use of a public space;
• Hierarchy of space: identify ownership by separating public space from private space;
• Access control/target hardening: using physical barriers, security devices and tamper resistant materials;
• Environment: design or location decision taking into account surrounding groups;
• Image/maintenance: ensure that a building or area is clean, well-maintained and graffiti-free;
On Mackay’s part, the hope is that police are able to solve the matter and catch the culprits in the act.
“This is right on the main spot, they (police) can come around the corner and catch them,” stated Mackay.