Call for cameras in Carbonear
Vandalism at The Stone Jug leads to request to up safety by business owner
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.”
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.”
Two windows at the front of The Stone Jug restaurant in Carbonear were smashed out early last week.