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Eastside convenience store taking measures to stamp out crime

While Grande Prairie RCMP have been busy handling robbery after robbery in the city, a local business owner is taking steps to prevent criminal activity on her property. Eastside Grocery and Liquor Manager Jennifer Taylor says through their own work and consultation with GP Crime Prevention, they have implemented a number of new measures. She says they want to create the safest possible environment for staff and customers by having a zero tolerance policy for any criminal activity on their property.

“We run a rigid patrol around this building. I’m here all day long and my husband is here at night. We make sure [criminals] know that we are taking their licence plates down. Every little bit helps but we’re never going to get rid of it all.”

Other changes include things like improved lighting and doubling up staff on all shifts. Taylor says the next step is installing new security systems for both themselves and the neighboring Eastside Kitchen.

“One for their building and one for our building covering a bigger area with both buildings so that we won’t have an inch of our property, plus our neighboring apartment block behind us, they’ll be sort of protected too.”

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Both Taylor and the owners of Eastside Kitchen have applied for SafeGrowth Grants to help pay for the new security systems. The grants, if approved by the city, will provide $2,500 to each business for the purchase of new security systems. Grande Prairie Crime Prevention will then be checking in to ensure that the grant money is being used for its intended purpose.

Taylor says she believes crime on their property is down, particularly over the last few months. Though the Eastside Grocery and Liqour stores have not been the target of any major theft in the previous year, she says she has her fingers crossed it will stay that way after seeing it happen to stores all over the area and across the city.

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