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Social media is not a replacement for calling the police, Berwick authorities stress

There are plenty of summer sights to behold in the Town of Berwick this year, including the splash pad at Rainforth Park.
Berwick is not the only community that sees an uptick in property-related crime in warmer months, town officials and police advise. -FILE PHOTO
BERWICK, N.S. —

With a recent break, enter and theft in Berwick, residents maybe be tempted to express their frustration online on social media.

Town of Berwick chief administrative Mike Payne says doing so won’t lead to justice.

With break-ins happening in August and this month, Payne is aware residents are frustrated, and expressing their displeasure online.

The latest of these crimes occurred Oct. 8, when a man broke into a pet food store on South Street.

Information from the RCMP describes video surveillance of a male entering the store, looking around the front counter, eventually taking a donation jar and leaving the store.

Payne, the former first RCMP detachment commander for Berwick, noted that police can’t investigate something they don’t know about.

He recommends turning to police, rather than social media.

Const. Jeff Wilson, a public information officer with the Kings District RCMP, had sentiments for Berwick residents and anyone dealing with potential crime in their community.
“It comes down to taking ownership of property and belongings and ownership of the community in which you live,” Wilson said. “Keep vehicles, households and businesses locked up and as secure as you can.”
Wilson said if anyone sees anything concerning or suspicious, the police should be informed as soon as possible.

“Don’t wait an extended period of time, so we can get resources and members to investigate as quickly as we can,” Wilson said.

Payne said that despite recent events, Berwick is a safe community with an effective and efficient police force.

“There’s a strong sense of community here, with neighbours looking out for each other when it comes to community safety,” Payne said. “We all have a role to play in that.”

While venting about something on social media may be cathartic, Payne said it won’t accomplish much when it comes to thwarting crime in the community.


One of the most effective ways to avoid being a victim of property crime is to secure vehicles, and property – particularly outbuildings.
Most property-related crime occurs at night, Berwick CAO Mike Payne advised. The key is to not give potential criminals an opportunity with unsecured property.


Payne admits there’s been a recent uptick in the number of property-related crimes in Berwick since the summer, but he notes that this pattern is observable throughout the Valley.

Wilson said the longer days and warmer weather “can create a climate for people to stay out longer and take advantage of the warmer temperatures.”

Payne stressed that property crime is “cyclical,” and coincides with the time of year.
“In the summertime and in the fall, more people are out and about. In the wintertime, there’s less of that,” Payne said. “And with break and enters, there’s a certain element that are mostly responsible for those,” Payne said. “As police get to the bottom of those and those individuals serve a period of custody, you have fewer break and enters while they’re away.”

Sam.macdonald@kingscountynews.ca

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