Committee seeking signatures for curfew petition

A petition seeking to increase the city’s curfew bylaw hours needs another 8,000 names before it can be presented to Red Deer city council.

A petition seeking to increase the city’s curfew bylaw hours needs another 8,000 names before it can be presented to Red Deer city council.

Crystal Smith, co-chair of the Northwood Estates Neighbourhood Watch Committee, said Thursday the committee needs at least 9,000 signatures of city residents on the petition before it can be put to council.

“We had hoped to have it done by the end of May but we just found out from City Hall we need at least 10 per cent of the city’s population,” Smith said.

The city’s population in 2008 was more than 89,500.

“We hope to get more than the required number so it’ll have more of an impact on (city) council,” Smith said.

Smith said the committee aims to gather the names by sometime this summer.

At the moment, young people less than 16 years of age can’t be out of the house on their own between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m.

The committee hopes to change that to between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

The committee formed last year after two families felt so terrorized by a roving youth gang that they felt like they had to move from Northwood Estates.

The families had a light shot out by a BB gun, bottles thrown at their windows in the mobile home park, and on occasion received personal threats of violence.

In some instances youths remained up for the most of the night and morning making noise, drinking alcohol and causing vandalism.

RCMP have been called numerous time but the youths are usually long gone by the time they arrive.

Smith said she has circulated the petition at the Public Market which runs Saturdays and various businesses.

She said the petition is currently at about five or six businesses.

Businesses interested in presenting the petition for signing can contact Smith at 403-598-9166.

The petition is also online at the Red Deer Neighbourhood Watch committee’s website www.nwatch.ca. People are asked to click the petition line to call up the petition wording and space for signing.

The committee is supported by Red Deer Neighbourhood Watch.

jwilson@bprda.wpengine.com

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