Downtown merchants are still worried about crime. Bargain Shop manager Tina Desaulniers talks about her experience.
"I'm catching people two-three times a day shoplifting, and it's not something big. It's mostly little items," she said.
Around Christmas time, Desaulniers recalls how a group came in, took a television set and left. Police haven't been able to recover the stolen unit, she noted.
Elizabeth Campbell runs a book shop on Main Street, and she's taken to bringing in her guard dog, after finding needles outside her storefront and in the lane behind.
"It's still kind of disturbing to find them (needles) knowing people are that close, who are using them. You don't want to run into them, when they're under the influence," said Campbell.
Over the weekend, staff at the Subway downtown hid in the back, while a woman went berserk. The Royal Bank recently hired security to safeguard their ATM outside of business hours. Store managers are also ensuring staff aren't alone, when they're delivering bank deposits or leaving the store late at night.
In the fall, police responded to a series of break-ins downtown. In response, the detachment increased foot patrols, and officers have been meeting with merchants.
The detachment commander, Jeff Duggan, has said methamphetamine arrived in Kenora about two years ago, and it has brought an increase in crime. For about $10, users can be intoxicated for about 14 hours, but using meth leaves permanent brain damage.
Duggan says he'd like to see more resources for treatment, in an effort to break the cycle and reduce crime.
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