Smile, you may be on camera: Witless Bay council looking at surveillance measures

By Mark Squibb | Vol. 12 #04 (February 21 2019)

The Town of Witless Bay is looking at installing security cameras to curb a recent wave of vandalism in the area.

"Prior to last summer no one worried about doors being locked when they weren't home. It's only recently, in the last year and a half or two, that we started to lock doors and make sure everything is secure," Mayor René Estrada told the Irish Loop Post.

"It's not rampant, but it was enough to realize that we are inheriting the problems of the larger communities," said Estrada, who noted that in the last year there have been numerous incidents of vandalism, break-in's, property damage and thefts.

He also noted that the Ferryland RCMP detachment- over 40 kilometres from Witless Bay - is primarily responsible for responding to reported incidents, in addition to a small office in Bay Bulls where officers posted at the Ferryland detachment commonly report.

"They have a large area to cover," the mayor noted.

That Ferryland detachment covers from Bay Bulls on the eastern side of the loop to Riverhead on the western side.

Council voted unanimously to look into installing the cameras during a council meeting on Feb. 13.

The cost, number of cameras, and their locations have yet to be voted on.

Estrada said community members met with RCMP members in December to discuss their concerns in a committee like fashion.

Several ideas floated at that time included publishing tips on how people can keep themselves and their possessions safe and increasing RCMP visits to local schools.

Estrada said he hopes such meetings will continue to take place, maybe two or three times a year.

Posted on March 1, 2019 .