“Two towns on the northeast Avalon have hired a company to patrol their streets due to what they see as a lack of police presence.
Torbay and Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s (PCSP) hired the Commissionaires, a not-for-profit Canadian company, this spring to supplement patrols by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary.
“The RNC is not willing to do patrols to the degree that we would like to see,” said Portugal Cove–St. Philip’s Deputy Mayor Gavin Will.
“We’ve talked with the RNC chief, right down the line about more enforcement from their end,” echoed Torbay Mayor Ralph Tapper.
“We understand the RNC, they are restricted, their resources are limited, but we had to take this step as a town to add to the enforcement and presence in our community,” Tapper added.
The towns are spending a total of $200,000 to have the Commissionaires patrol their streets. Some of the biggest problems in the area include ATV traffic, illegal dumping and people leaving hypodermic needles, said Will.
“We have had problems with parks being used as hangouts, drinking, smoking,” said Will.
Tapper said in his town, drivers in vehicles and ATVs speeding by some high school students has forced council to act.
“When it came to speeding on the roads, it went to the extreme,” Tapper said.
“We had so many calls from neighbourhoods about it, even during the day time, lunch hours when school gets out.”
The Commissionaires will conduct patrols, and report activity they see to the RNC, but have no enforcement power.
“The Commissionaires will take records. They’ll photograph any violations they see. So it’s really the record keeping that goes along with what they do,” said Will.
Both mayors said they’ve already seen a difference having the Commissionaires on patrol.”