The Barriere Consultive Group met in the Ridge on Oct. 15 with local RCMP Detachment N.C.O. Cpl. Steve Mancini in attendance.
Seven other people were in attendance including Mayor Virginia Smith.
A number of attendees voiced their concerns about the problem of speeders traveling Barriere Town Road between Highway 5 and the three-way stop. As this stretch of road includes two school and playground areas residents voiced their concerns that speeding needs to be addressed before someone gets hurt.
The road has a posted speed limit of 50 km, reduced to 30 km in the areas of the Ridge and Barriere Secondary School.
“They are doing 55 or 60 [km] by the time they hit the school zone, and you can see some of them then slam on their brakes,” said an attendee, “The municipality has to identify this problem and another 30 km sign needs to be on the other side of the school.”
Cpl. Mancini stated, “This is the first I have heard of this and will take it back to the guys at the office. Unfortunately, you are never going to stop speeding, but the need is to minimize the chance that someone is going to get hurt.”
He noted that bringing back the Argo speed sign would be a first step in addressing the problem as well as having police monitor the area.
Mayor Smith brought up the rumour going around town about several incidents in Fadear Park where people have been accosted or robbed.
Mancini says there are only two incidents that have been reported. The first incident took place when a couple of elderly gentlemen were drinking with a person in a dark hoodie they didn’t know in the park. After he left the gentlemen were robbed by a person in a dark hoodie who then took off on foot. Police called in forensics to go over the beer cans, and also brought in a police dog to track the area. RCMP members from Clearwater also came down but nothing was located.
He did note that as the police file progressed one of the victims said someone had a mask on. Then this got out to the community that there was someone wearing a mask going around robbing people and trying to grab children.
He added that police did receive some calls and attended the areas where there was no sign of what had been reported.
He noted, “Some members of the community have bitten into these rumours and are spreading incorrect information on social media.”
Mancini said the second incident in the community took place shortly after the first one when someone who probably had “one too many” thought they could go up to somebody to get money, but instead got smacked and fell down.
Mancini said he did not believe for a second that there was a second robber walking around the park.
As no one turned up to this Consultive Group meeting to voice their concerns about the presumed incidents in the park the committee could only accept the possibility that there is no facts to back up the rumours.
Regarding recently reported vandalism in Barriere, Mancini reported it was kids that did the damage. He also stated the rash of vehicle thefts a few months ago has been addressed, and the thieves that broke in to AG Foods in the summer have been convicted and have been in jail now for a month.
“If you see something suspicious call in,” said the Corporal, “A police officer will attend, but sometimes not right away if they are having to deal with something else at the time.”
It was noted that a new RCMP member will be arriving the end of November to the Barriere office, replacing Cst. Jessie Wilkins who has been posted to another detachment.