One city councillor hosted a town hall meeting Saturday with social agencies and police to address rising crime rates in northeast Calgary.
Raj Dhaliwal is concerned with the amount of dangerous crime in Ward 5 and says the area’s reputation is in need of cleaning up.
He believes a good place to start is by addressing social issues within some of the hardest struck neighbourhoods in Calgary.
“I don’t want to hear, ‘it’s not my problem, it’s their problem,'” he said. “It’s our problem.”
Gun violence in Calgary is on the rise.
In the first four months of 2022 alone, there were 54 shootings in the city.
“And 26 of them were north of 16th Avenue,” Dhaliwal said. “That to me is very sad.”
That number had risen to 63 by June.
Police stats show more homicides related to organized crime, and it’s apparent officers have had a tough time keeping gun crime down.
“So they said to me, ‘Raj, this is not just our problem anymore. This is a community problem.'”
That community problem was addressed at length during the Saturday town hall. Northeast families and neighbourhood leaders attended to listen and ask questions of those on hand.
The area is home to many new Canadians, and Dhaliwal believes the way different cultures are policed may need a retooling.
“It’s a western perspective — western modelling — we see that’s being applied to problem-solving with those cultures,” he said. “And that’s where the problem starts. What works for some doesn’t work for all.”
Language or faith barriers can often serve to confuse or amplify smaller issues.
The town hall tried to address those gaps and teach about services available to kids and parents in the area.
Dhaliwal says future town halls or similar forums haven’t been ruled out.