Cops target street racing, loud cars ‘mess’ at Mississauga shopping mall
Published February 17, 2023 at 2:15 pm
Starting this weekend, Peel cops will patrol a north Mississauga shopping mall in the overnight hours in response to pleas from the area’s City councillor that late-night/overnight disturbances and street racing have become a huge problem.
City of Mississauga Ward 5 Councillor Carolyn Parrish told her council colleagues on Wednesday (Feb. 15) that Peel Regional Police have agreed to deploy additional officers to Westwood Square mall in Malton to keep watch in the late-night and overnight hours.
Groups of people hanging out in loud cars and racing vehicles has been an issue for months now, the councilor said.
Responding to a Malton resident who briefly, and informally, addressed council about his concerns, describing the problems at the shopping mall as “…a little bit out of control” with crime and violence and “a mess,” Parrish said police have finally responded to her calls for a beefed-up cop presence in the area.
“You are absolutely correct. It’s a mess, and we’re working on it,” Parrish told the resident.
“I’m not proud of Westwood Square right now. I agree with your concerns. We’ve got cars revving there from 10 o’clock at night till three in the morning. I’ve written some pretty nasty letters back and forth with Peel Regional Police and they’re actually putting paid-duty officers on starting this weekend. (And) we’ve got extra bylaw officers we’re hiring…so that we’ll be constantly monitoring (the situation).”
Parrish noted that one of the significant factors contributing to the trouble in the area outside and near the mall is that the Wal-Mart that had been an anchor tenant closed its store some time ago.
“So, all that nonsense started at that end of the mall because there were no cars parked there and now they’re moving down to the other end (of the mall),” she said. “The owner of the mall is doing his best. He’s trying to get out of the Wal-Mart deal so he can get some stores in there so that things will settle down. But Peel Regional Police…are putting police officers there all night this weekend to see what happens.
“This has been going on for about six months. It gets worse when the weather’s nice and we’ve had good weather the last week or two. We’re doing our best and I suggested to Peel Regional Police they might want to call in the OPP if they can’t handle it. So, that got them very annoyed with me and they are now doing a little bit more effort on it.”
Earlier this month, City council agreed to hire eight new bylaw enforcement officers to give the City round-the-clock coverage as it tries to reduce out-of-control street parties, dangerous street racing and other late-night and overnight disturbances that are going unchecked.
Mississauga councillors agreed in late January, just prior to approving the City’s 2023 budget, to beef up Mississauga’s overnight bylaw enforcement team.
The plan will add 10 staff in total–the eight enforcement officers in addition to a supervisor and an administrative position–at a cost of $689,700 in 2023.
The notion of additional enforcement was introduced in November by Parrish, who said at the time that last summer in the Malton area of the city was especially troublesome.
“Bylaw officers, absolutely we need them round-the-clock. We’re probably the only city that doesn’t have them,” Parrish said earlier. “These are the things I’m going to be looking at because it hurts the most up in Malton because they’re so isolated. You get all these calls all the time. This last summer has been really bad for noise, car racing, all kinds of things up there.”
Responding to a Jan. 25 Twitter post from Parrish, one resident said: “Better stop car racing in Westwood Mall complex. Students are making it difficult to drive in mall parking.”
Parrish replied, noting that “Six of them charged with stunt driving in one evening. Cars confiscated for a week. Insurance will go through the roof. Peel Regional Police did a great job. With City bylaw 24 hours, 7 days a week, you will see a difference.”
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