Edmonton’s Alberta Avenue community desperate for help after spike in crime

People who live in Edmonton’s Alberta Avenue neighborhood are facing an increase in crime, and said it makes them feel unsafe in their own homes.

“We’re tired and we’re scared,” said Maggie Glasgow, a community member.

The Alberta Avenue Community League has linked the crime to the large number of derelict properties in the area, some of which have sat empty for decades.

Read more: Senior attacked with boxcutter in Alberta Avenue neighbourhood

“We have a lot of problem properties — it’s not new,” said Alberta Avenue Community League treasurer Erick Estrada. “Everyone’s afraid to go out. You can’t just walk into the streets anymore without getting calls from johns.

“People will also be knocking at your door at midnight.”

Story continues below advertisement

Those are just some of the problems that neighbors said the abandoned properties have created. The area also saw an increase in arson over the last year, which has many people worried about their own homes.

Click to play video: 'Edmonton senior attacked with boxcutter in Alberta Avenue neighbourhood' Edmonton senior attacked with boxcutter in Alberta Avenue neighbourhood

Edmonton senior attacked with boxcutter in Alberta Avenue neighbourhood – Mar 18, 2022

“These crimes keep following us and there is no action that seems to be taking place,” said Estrada.

Despite the three beat cops that regularly patrol the neighborhood, Estrada said it’s not enough and the number of calls they receive is overwhelming.

“The interesting thing is that when you shut down one of those properties, the calls for service decrease.”

Read more: Construction has some Edmonton businesses contemplating closure; council considers compensation

Glasgow, who used to let her kids go to the park on their own, said she no longer lets them do that. Instead, she accompanies them, adding that children in the area have less freedom than they used to.

Story continues below advertisement

“Over the last two or three years, things have really started to slide backwards,” she said.

In an effort to get things back on track, the community league said it will speak to the city on Monday about the violence. The plan is to request more police resources, a plan for affordable housing and something to be done about the number of abandoned homes.

Click to play video: 'Construction forces Alberta Avenue businesses to contemplate closure' Construction forces Alberta Avenue businesses to contemplate closure

Construction forces Alberta Avenue businesses to contemplate closure – Mar 26, 2022

“We have a new council and we have high hopes for them,” said Estrada. “They seem to want to address the problems in the city holistically.”

Ashley Salvador is the ward councillor for the area and said she is in support of the community league’s requests.

“Oftentimes the land owners of these properties are preying upon vulnerable and marginalized Edmontonians,” said Salvador. “Being able to have long-term services, including affordable housing, mental health services and addiction services is absolutely necessary.”

Story continues below advertisement

Read more: Racism suspected in random, violent attack on man in central Edmonton: police

In addition, her belief is that the community deserves, and expects, the city to respond immediately to their urgent asks.

Her plan is to put forward a number of different motions with the goal of having a community property safety team implemented, taking a stronger approach to having properties be demolished, as well as using fines and property tax sub-classes to keep owners accountable for their properties.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

View original article here Source