Spike in harassment, assault of Caledon snowplow workers ‘unacceptable’: police

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Published March 7, 2023 at 12:56 pm

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Caledon residents are being reminded to let cooler heads prevail as the harassment, abuse and assault of road crews and Town staff is on the rise.

A winter storm warning was issued for the Caledon area on Thursday, leading the Town to ask for patience from residents as crews worked to clean up from the significant snowfall. But the Town said there were multiple incidents involving residents becoming heated and directing their outrage toward crews and customer service staff.

“Beyond rude gestures and verbal abuse, staff are now being physically threatened,” the Town said in a release, adding that some incidents have seen objects hurled at trucks, sidewalk plows, and even workers.

The OPP were called to at least one such incident over the weekend but have not said if any charges are pending, and Insp. MaryLouise Kearns with the Caledon detachment said any violence aimed at Town workers just trying to do their job “is unacceptable.”

“Threats to public safety will not be tolerated and charges will be laid when necessary,” Kearns said.

While most residents have been understanding of the time it takes to clear snow in an area as large as Caledon, the Town says harassment of staff has increased “both in frequency and severity” throughout the winter months.

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Caledon Mayor Annette Groves urged members of the community to remember that Town staff “might be neighbours, family or friends.”

“These employees work long hours, during nights and weekends, working around obstacles including street-parked vehicles, to clear roads and sidewalks in a priority sequence, they shouldn’t have to endure threats and abuse,” said Groves. “I know Caledon is better than that.”

Tempers also flared between a snowplow driver and a resident in Milton on the weekend.

Early on Saturday, a snowplow was making its rounds cleaning up the streets in Milton, leaving some driveways partially blocked with piles of snow.

A nearby resident was unhappy with the results and his rage caused him to approach the snowplow and allegedly used his fist to smash one of the windows. One man was arrested following the incident, the Halton Regional Police Service said.

For more information about the service standards and maintenance of roads and sidewalks in Caledon visit www.Caledon.ca/snow

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