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Opinion: My Burnaby neighbourhood is suddenly a crime hot spot

Each month the Burnaby RCMP’s crime prevent unit sends out wrap up of the previous month’s crime stats – including locations. And each months shows the stretch of Kingsway at Metrotown is the absolute worst area for crime in the City of Burnaby.
break-in warning

Each month the Burnaby RCMP’s crime prevent unit sends out wrap up of the previous month’s crime stats – including locations.

And each months shows the stretch of Kingsway at Metrotown is the absolute worst area for crime in the City of Burnaby.

It’s marked on a heat map in dark red to show how high the crime is. The March report, however, included a shocking change on the heat map.

Marked out in burning orange was my quiet little corner of the world – the UniverCity community on top of Burnaby Mountain.

It’s quiet here, all except for the sound of frogs mating in the spring, a few woodpeckers banging away on the trees and the new sound of clanging pots and pans every 7 p.m. to salute essential workers.

It’s so quiet that we rarely experience much crime. UniverCity is an out of the way place that doesn’t see the usual kind of theft from vehicles or break-ins.

burnaby crime
Burnaby crime heat map for March 2020. Submitted

Except for March. When I looked the heat map, embedded in this story, you can see it’s the darkest kind of orange except for Metrotown. The darkest spot is literally hovering over my apartment.

We’ve been hit by a mix of break-ins and thefts from vehicles. Thankfully, I don’t leave anything visible in my vehicle on the street that might tempt a thief. Sadly, our apartment was hit recently and the bike locker was vandalized.

I feel kind of helpless right now with this news. It’s hard for the neighbourhood to step up patrols of the streets because most people are staying home.

I do feel a sense of privilege at seeing our neighbourhood get hit. I had a sense of smugness that crime was something that other parts of Burnaby had to worry about. That couldn’t possibly happen in the rarefied air on the mountain.

Another myth shattered.

My hope is that the RCMP use these stats to increase patrols in areas hit hardest by crime, but resources are stretched thin patrolling all the other areas that are now relatively abandoned with the closure of so many businesses.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.

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