Guelph homeowners reach 'crisis point' over break-ins and vandalism, councillor says

A city councillor says vandalism and break-in reports are up in Guelph, and now, residents are meeting Thursday to decide what to do about it.

'Everyone’s noticing the increased frequency,' says Guelph Coun. James Gordon

Guelph Police will attend a meeting for residents of Ward 2 who are concerned about a rise in break-ins and vandalism near the city's downtown core. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

Guelph residents living near the downtown will have a chance to air their concerns about break-ins and vandalism at a community meeting Thursday night.

City Coun. James Gordon claims there have been an increase in the crimes in Ward 2, an area of Guelph near downtown.

Gordon and Coun. Andy Van Hellemond organized a meeting with Guelph Police Sgt. Arif Hasham to talk about the issue. He said the issue is reaching a "crisis point."

"In the neighbourhoods in my ward that are closer to the downtown in the older district, they're noticing an increased frequency and maybe a little bit more emboldened — like, right in the daytime or going into backyards and taking things or into storage sheds or actually breaking into houses and cars," Gordon said in an interview with CBC News.

Gordon said there was a rash of break-ins and vandalism last fall but not as many over the winter months.

Gordon said some residents have concerns about people who use downtown services, including the rapid access addiction clinic and shelters. Gordon said it's hard to know who is behind the break-ins.

"That's why we're having this meeting," Gordon said. "Everyone's noticing the increased frequency about it, but there's debates as to what the cause is and what the possible solutions are."

The meeting will start at 7 p.m. at the Evergreen Seniors Community Centre, located at 683 Woolwich St., Guelph.