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HomeBreaking NewsKenora, Ont. promises to address the rise in brazen downtown crime

Kenora, Ont. promises to address the rise in brazen downtown crime

'Quick read' news summary

The City of Kenora, Ont., is promising to address a rise in brazen downtown crime that’s shaken the small Ontario community east of Winnipeg.

The holiday season was interrupted by a string of violence directed at businesses in the city, forcing an emergency city council meeting on Thursday.

Michelle Livingston owns Island Girl in Kenora and she told Global News in her store on Christmas Eve a man became violent towards her after refusing to leave at closing time.

“He ran into the store and started grabbing clothing racks and, you know, knocked over my sunglasses and breaking all my sunglasses and knocking over our Christmas tree,” she said.

“I had to grab the shovel to kind of stop him and get him away from me. And that’s when he ended up taking the shovel from me, knocking me to the ground, grabbing my head, started pounding it towards the floor.”

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Mayor Andrew Poirier says Ontario Provincial Police are committing to increasing car and foot patrols which he says have already taken effect in the city.

The council also agreed to hire a community safety and wellbeing coordinator and update the city’s safety plan.

That includes building more affordable housing and making sure more supports are available to those experiencing addictions, mental health concerns and homelessness

The safety concern won’t be resolved overnight but Poirier is hoping it will lead to more solutions.

“That process is going to start next week with the beginning of the recruitment of this position and also starting to engage with a consultant on redeveloping the plan, one that will work for our community.”

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