Safety in the downtown core is a concern being looked at according to the Downtown BIA.

Last week a downtown business posted on social media about people loitering, harassing others and public intoxication. Pure Addiction Studio says since opening the studio in 2011, the amount of people loitering and harassing others has increased significantly.

BIA Chair Jamie Roach says this is something that hasn’t been just voiced by Pure Addiction Studio, but many other businesses in the downtown core. Roach says the organization has been looking at this issue. A few months ago the organization held a community safety meeting with businesses and police members to go over some of the concerns and start thinking of a solution. He says the businesses were asked to keep track of any incidents they see and report so a full report can be handed to the Timmins Police Service.

Roach adds that people are starting to recognize the problem and the police are doing what they can, but this isn’t a problem that will be fixed overnight. He says one thing that has made a noticeable difference is the Beat Cop that walks the downtown streets. Roach says this not only protects the businesses and customers, but also the people living on the streets. “I think what the businesses community can do, whether that is the BIA or broader, is mobilize. Whether that’s raising funds, that seems to be the fallback position, but that may be the way we can contribute as a collective we.”

Roach says there is going to be another community safety meeting planned with the businesses and police service for after the municipal election, “to follow up to the meeting we already had and the things talked about and review where we are at and where we are going.”

Roach says we knew as a BIA and business community in general, we know there is probably more we can do. He adds that the BIA is bringing new initiatives forward that may help, but it has to wait until after the election.