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Beach Triangle Residents Association

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The Beach Triangle Residents Association, Toronto, Ontario

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Triangle Policing Update

By Chris Blythe

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Top of the news: 55 Division has renewed energy and a newly avowed interest in community-based policing, this thanks to our new Unit Chief, Superintendent Frank Bergen, and Second in Charge, Inspector Greg Cole. After several recent interactions with the new team we look forward to seeing what the near future brings.

As a bit of background, the BTRA integrates with the Toronto Police Services through the 55 Division Community Police Liaison Committee (55CPLC). The committee holds monthly meetings and receives regular updates regarding policing issues and activities in and around this neighborhood. The committee is made up of representatives of several community service agencies, residents’ associations (RAs) and Business Improvement Area (BIAs) boards, placing us in direct, continual, touch with not only all available police resources, but also with many of the interconnected social agencies in the area.

Look for our annual Police Week BBQ event at Woodbine Park each May to see just how well this works. (It’s one of many 55CPLC-sponsored activities throughout the Division).

From a policing standpoint, the Triangle has been quiet. Day-to-day issues such as unruly group home residents, suspicious laneway activities and various parking-related issues being routine. There have been several more-serious crimes in and about the Division -- from a rash of business break-ins in The Beach to a major jewelry store robbery in the Gerrard Indian Bazaar. In most cases, including these, arrests are quick.

Yet there are frustrations: it is more difficult to protect people who fail to protect themselves.

A couple of years back, The Sneaker Bandit was entering homes in the area, taking off his shoes and making himself snacks before taking booty from the homes he entered. Of the almost 50 different residences involved, not one was a ‘break and enter’. He entered each one through an unlocked door while, in many cases, the residents were asleep in their beds -- often placing their trust in a locked garage door. Not advisable.

Another issue has been several thefts of expensive strollers; some costing several thousand dollars; that were left, unprotected, on front porches in the area. Easy picking for the untoward opportunist.

And how about folks who leave the front door unlocked, place their purses and car keys on a table just inside, and go to bed only to find the car, their personal identification and their money, missing in the morning? This continues to happen throughout the area, despite much publicity.

Bottom line? You are the first line of security in your own well-being