We are sad and outraged after hearing the owner of the Malden Mini-Mart will be closing his doors soon.
The owner no longer feels safe with break ins and recent armed robberies. At the age of 69 he said he needs to "relax" now. From what we are hearing, others will follow him. Without mentioning any names, we have spoken to three store owners this week, and all say they are having second thoughts of renewing their leases and taking their business (and revenue) to another city. A safer city.
Small businesses make up the foundation for larger businesses to move in. If the larger ones see that the smaller ones are having issues of any kind, they will not invest into the city. Leaving Malden with empty store fronts and a possibility of more crime (Look up Broken Windows Theory). Building apartment buildings in place of what was once a store does not fix the issue. In fact it makes it worse, over-crowding an already crowed city.
Let's be honest, you place 40 people in a medium-sized bathroom and in time, you will have issues. Residents can help without putting themselves in harms way - and that is by being aware.
If you see something strange, you call the police and let them sort it out. Do not over think it - go with your gut. You can call anonymously. Watching out for these small businesses is not only is the right thing to do, but also helps the city's growth in the long run.
A small amount of people feel that Malden Crimewatch scares and panics people. We are no different then any other neighborhood crime watch operating in this county. We want to bring awareness on issues so the residents and store owners can be more vigilant. Would it be better if the residents did not know and we all fed them a false sense of security? In our opinion a false sense of security is a crime in itself.
We like to look back on how Chinatown cleaned up. Many years ago, you could not walk down many of the streets in Chinatown without meeting a prostitute or drug dealer. And you were lucky if you did not get mugged while visiting. But the PEOPLE worked close with the Boston Police and city government and together they made it what it is today.
Is it 100%? No, but it is a safer place then it was before. People feel safer and business increased. It was a team effort on everyone's part. If Chinatown can do it, Malden can too.
The people do not want to wait until we are labeled "The Combat Zone" before something is done. We need community awareness - not just meetings to talk about what has already happened, we need a city-wide campaign on what we can do to prevent it from happening. Being proactive is more then just a word - follow it with actions.
So, we challenge everyone that works or lives in this city to be aware and vigilant. Call the police if you see something strange, hold people accountable and together we can make Malden a better city. This is OUR city after all. And we all know what a voice can accomplish.
Of course, this is only our opinion.