We have to take a stand

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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Chamber president wants action on vandalism

AMHERST - The president of the Amherst and Area Chamber of Commerce is fed up with the amount of vandalism and break-ins committed at businesses within the town and she's urging the community to be more proactive in stamping out crime.

AMHERST - The president of the Amherst and Area Chamber of Commerce is fed up with the amount of vandalism and break-ins committed at businesses within the town and she's urging the community to be more proactive in stamping out crime.

"We have to take stand. People have to start paying attention to what's happening in their community and instead of saying the heck with it and doing nothing, they have to be willing to call the police," Cheryl Allen said.

Allen said a number of chamber members have contacted her over the summer over what they feel is a growing incidence of vandalism and break-ins. Just over the weekend, she said, another business owner had his trailer broken into and $30,000 worth of tools stolen.

"We're concerned about this and feel something has to be done. We have to stick up for our people who pay commercial and business taxes and have to face higher insurance rates because of this," Allen said. "This is their livelihood that we're talking about."

Allen is proposing an awareness campaign that will get residents and business owners to be more vigilant when it comes to reporting suspicious activities. She'd also like to see the chamber establish a block watch or business watch program in which business owners work together on crime prevention.

"We want businesses to come together and put their heads together and work with police and others to create awareness in hopes that we can do our best to protect ourselves," she said.

She's hoping to set up a meeting in the next few weeks with interested stakeholders and wants to include the Amherst Police Department.

"We have to make it easier for police to act and make it easier for them to solve these crimes," Allen said. "At the same time, police have to be more forthcoming with information about what's happening because I don't think a lot of people realize how bad it is."

Along with higher costs, Allen said, vandalism and thefts are also making it harder for businesses in Amherst to remain competitive with Moncton and other larger centres.



dcole@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Area Chamber of Commerce, Amherst Police Department

Geographic location: AMHERST, Moncton

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