GLASTONBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — The rise in juvenile crimes across the state has prompted communities to take action. In Glastonbury Thursday, a public forum was held to figure out what more can be done to prevent these incidents from happening.
“We have never seen this type of brazen activity in our town ever, and I’ve lived here since 1975,” said Kristin Bourbeau of Glastonbury.
Members of Safe Streets Connecticut walked into the meeting holding signs and were among those demanding change.
“It’s real,” said Melinda Smith of Glastonbury. “They don’t just want our stuff out in the yard. They want the stuff in our home.”
At the packed forum, people voiced their concerns about what they’ve been seeing, especially when it comes to car break-ins and burglaries. Just a few weeks ago, a town resident was shot at while trying to shoo away would-be thieves.
“Walking up to the podium just now, I just passed four seats in the front row that have memorial seats for people who have been killed by juvenile crime,” said Mark Anderson, of Glastonbury. “It’s my intention to make sure my name isn’t on that seat.”
They called on state leaders and lawmakers to do more.
“The question that begs to be answered is, ‘when are we going to start placing blame on where it belongs? On the offenders,’” said State Rep. Jill Barry, a Democrat representing Glastonbury. “Where are the consequences?”
They also offered up suggestions to combat this, which included expanding access to juvenile criminal records, enacting stiffer penalties, and putting resources in place for young people to set them on a different path.
As they work to find solutions, everyone was encouraged to take measures to better protect themselves and their belongings. Those measures include locking your cars and homes as well as taking personal items with you.
Members of different police departments and people from other towns were also in attendance. Many people News 8 heard from said they’re committed to working together on this.