Call for cam­eras in Car­bon­ear

Van­dal­ism at The Stone Jug leads to re­quest to up safety by busi­ness owner

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY MELISSA JENK­INS

Af­ter dam­age was done by van­dals to a soon-to-open res­tau­rant in Car­bon­ear last week, lo­cals have been ques­tion­ing why more isn’t be­ing done to pro­tect busi­ness own­ers in the town.

Bruce Branan, the owner of The Stone Jug, is call­ing on the town to step up and help keep the down­town area safe af­ter at least nine of his win­dows were smashed out and other dam­age was done with rocks to the build­ing.

“There needs to be more done,” he told The Com­pass. “It’s ridicu­lous.”

His busi­ness, which was sched­uled to open mid-Septem­ber, has a se­cu­rity sys­tem, but be­cause of on­go­ing con­struc­tion, it is not func­tion­ing. Branan is look­ing into hav­ing it online as soon as pos­si­ble.

When he spoke with The Com­pass Aug. 24 he was pre­par­ing to speak with other busi­ness own- ers in the area with se­cu­rity footage. As of Fri­day noth­ing sub­stan­tial had been found, he said.

One of those busi­ness own­ers is the town’s deputy mayor, Frank Butt, who vol­un­tar­ily checked the cam­eras from his gas sta­tion around the cor­ner when he saw the dam­age to the win­dows.

“I will be re­view­ing my tapes later to­day to see if I can find any­thing there,” he said on Aug. 24

He also be­lieves the van­dals can get caught.

“I think it’s just a mat­ter of get­ting the word out there,” he said. “Some­one knows some­thing.”

Public re­ac­tion

This is not the first act of van­dal­ism in the town this year. In May, a for­mer ele­men­tary school, pur­chased by another lo­cal busi­ness­man, was vandalized caus­ing over $100,000 in dam­age. Three peo­ple were caught and charged in the in­ci­dent.

The dam­age may not be as ex­pen­sive at The Stone Jug, but Branan said there have been more busi­nesses tar­geted in re­cent months.

“It’s de­press­ing,” he said. “It’s not just one or two places. It’s hap­pen­ing ev­ery­where.”

The Com­pass could not con­firm spe­cific acts of van­dal­ism sug­gested by Branan, but he said the lo­cal busi­ness com­mu­nity chats among each other when they’ve ex­pe­ri­enced sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tions. He said there are more than peo­ple think.

If there are many acts of van­dal­ism hap­pen­ing in Car­bon­ear, the public’s re­ac­tion to the news of the dam­aged win­dows should not be sur­pris­ing to some.

Our web­site and Face­book page gar­nered more than twodozen com­ments from peo­ple, most stat­ing their frus­tra­tion about the act it­self, with some bla­tantly say­ing they are de­sen­si­tized to the van­dal­ism.

One com­menter said, “This doesn’t sur­prise me one bit. I’m ac­tu­ally more sur­prised it took this long to hap­pen. I wouldn’t even bother open­ing a busi­ness in Car­bon­ear or Har­bour Grace be­cause of the van­dal­iz­ing like this that hap­pens.”

Butt ex­plained as a busi­ness owner, he knows all too well the strug­gle with van­dals af­ter the door to his store was bro­ken last year.

“I am to­tally dis­gusted,” he ex­plained. “It’s not my build­ing, but it’s al­most as if it had been. I’ve had my share over the years. It’s not a good feel­ing.”

Se­cu­rity cam­era re­quest

Bre­nan said it wasn’t sur­pris­ing to him ei­ther. Although it wasn’t some­thing he wanted to see hap­pen, he be­lieves there isn’t enough se­cu­rity through­out the town, not mu­nic­i­pally or through the RCMP.

But how could a town en­hance its se­cu­rity? Branan sug­gested cam­eras down­town Car­bon­ear to start. He plans to bring the idea to the town coun­cil.

“They only need three or four cam­eras to cover the whole area,” he ex­plained.

The deputy mayor is also on board for cam­eras in the down­town.

“I am 100 per cent in favour of cam­eras for the down­town,” he said. “For peo­ple that are not do­ing any­thing bad, there’s noth­ing to worry about.”

He men­tioned the live feeds that are on the gov­ern­ment web­sites, and said he would like to see the town have some­thing sim­i­lar.

“There should be some kind of united force to pro­tect the area,” Butt noted. “This is not ac­cept­able at all.”

As for Branan, he is leav­ing the bro­ken glass in the win­dows un­til the busi­ness opens as a re­minder of the van­dal­ism and to en­cour­age the mu­nic­i­pal­ity to start con­sid­er­ing stricter op­tions for the down­town.

The van­dal­ism is un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the RCMP.

“It’s de­press­ing. It’s not just one or two places. It’s hap­pen­ing ev­ery­where.”

Bruce Branan

PHOTO BY MELISSA JENK­INS/THE COM­PASS

Two win­dows at the front of The Stone Jug res­tau­rant in Car­bon­ear were smashed out early last week.

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