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Barrie residents demand action against youths terrorizing their neighbourhood


About 60 residents of the Prince William Way neighbourhood gathered at Barrie Police headquarters Tuesday evening for a public meeting over concerns about the ongoing chaos and disturbances caused by a small group of young people terrorizing the community.

According to residents, the situation that has been going on for a year recently escalated, prompting a special community meeting inside Barrie police headquarters to address the situation.

"We really feel unsafe inside our own house anymore. It is really bad," said Firuza Tosh.

According to Tosh, her family has been victimized on several occasions.

On one occasion, she says a group of six or seven youths showed up at her house and started kicking the front door and tried to break in with an axe.

"I think of course the sense of the room was frustration and fear," says Bryn Hamilton of Tuesday's public meeting. "I do think the meeting was productive in the sense that Barrie Police Services were able to clarify the work they have done and assistance that they have provided."

Several videos and pictures are posted on a neighbourhood group page on Facebook, with many residents demanding the police take action.

Barrie police confirmed there had been reports of assaults and trespassing.

Last week, police say two young offenders were charged and arrested for assault.

Hamilton said while the videos are alarming police did stress that these are isolated incidents. 

"I think we have to gain some perspective here," Hamilton said. "Ward 10 by and large has the lowest crime rate across all the city so what we're dealing with here is really a local group of troubled youth that are showing real, significant distrubing and violent behaviour."

Hamilton said that there will be a continued police presence in the area and that meetings will be set up with the school board to get their involvement in the issue. A neighbourhood watch program has also been established as a result of Tuesday's meeting. 

"There was some questions raised about the overall youth criminal justice system and what needs to be done from an advocacy standpoint, so bringing in a local MPP." says Hamilton. "Obviously that's a longer-term solution but I think right now we're really looking at all paths to explore." 

With files from CTV's Dana Roberts. Top Stories

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