Salon owner suggests 'gaybourhood watch' to fight crime
Published Friday, June 1, 2012 7:11PM ADT
An attack on a gay man has prompted a Halifax salon owner to think outside the box when it comes to violent crime.
Jay Wells says violence is increasing and something needs to be done about it. He says the solution may be a "Gaybourhood Watch," which would be similar to a neighbourhood watch.
"Just being conscious, you know. If you see somebody leaving a car alone drunk, or if you notice somebody walking home, put them in a cab," says Wells. "I've been attacked before…everybody that works in this salon has suffered violence in the past few years."
The incident that spurred Wells to action happened on Brunswick Street when a man's phone was robbed and he was beaten up. Wells says the victim is a client at his salon.
"You know, he's got stitches from here to here, apparently, and his teeth are all chipped," says Wells.
The latest incident comes less than two months after gay rights activist Raymond Taavel was beaten to death outside of a gay bar on Gottingen Street.
"After Raymond Taavel's death, we keep hearing more and more from the community about their experience of violence," says Kevin Kindred of Nova Scotia Rainbow Action. "So I think it's really worthwhile that we try as a community to put our heads together and think about what strategy we should be using to respond."
Police say the latest victim happens to be gay but there is no indication at this time that the man's sexual orientation was the motivation behind the attack.
"At this point we believe this was a random incident and we believe it was a result of him offering somebody to use their phone and they end up taking off running with it," says Const. Brian Palmeter of the Halifax Regional Police.
Either way, Wells says it is time to start looking at the bigger picture and that, he says, starts with discussion.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kayla Hounsell