Saturday November 22, 2014

Social problem, not pawn shop problem


Dear Editor

This is in response to “Doing business downtown turns scary for one resident” (Regional Optimist July 6). The article states “… vagrancy, pawn shops and empty storefronts have been a problem for a while …” This view is narrow-minded. There are several issues that have caused the existing problems, the biggest of which is a social problem. There are two bars in the downtown core. Add to this that the RCMP station, liquor store and courthouse are all in the same vicinity. The liquor store is one of the busiest locations in the downtown. The people loitering on the street corners do not bring items into the stores to pawn, so I fail to see how pawn shops downtown are “attracting trouble” as stated in the article.

It comes to my attention during early morning, evening hours and Sundays, when no pawn shops are open, there are still people loitering in the downtown area. However, on holidays, when the liquor store is closed, I’ve noticed there is no loitering. Further to this, the articles references that people do not feel safe going downtown after hours. Again the pawn shops are not open at this time.

I understand that people have the impression that pawn shops are seedy and deal in illegal activities. Speaking of my pawn shop, I can say only 000.1 per cent of all items taken in a year were stolen. All pawn shops in North Battleford are required to register pawn transactions with Business Watch International (BWI) and those records are monitored by the RCMP.

The downtown building pictured in the article has a canopy attached that provides shelter. There is also a stoop to sit on. The Royal Bank also has a canopy where loitering occurs. Does this mean the bank is also “attracting trouble?”

North Battleford has a social problem not a pawn shop problem.

David Materia

FT Second Hand Store



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