Crime fight community-wide
Tuesday, Feb 27, 2018 06:00 am
With criminals continuing to target farms, ranches and acreage properties in the district and across Alberta, residents and other stakeholders are seeking solutions.
Whether ways can be found to turn the tide against the rise in rural crime seen over the past several years remains to be seen.
What is known is that many community partners are more committed than ever before to making rural neighbourhoods safer and more secure.
As part of that effort, rural crime watch associations and citizens on patrol groups are working closely with RCMP officers these days to help counter the influx of criminals targeting law-abiding area families and businesses.
During a rural crime town hall held at Eagle Hill last week, politicians, police and members of the public at large all voiced concerns about the crime wave and called for a renewed community-wide effort.
“Rural crime is a serious issue that is taking place in this province right now,” Rocky Mountain House-Sundre MLA Jason Nixon said during the town hall. “We are neighbours and we know how serious this issue is. You have a real role to play and I know the RCMP appreciates it.”
Red Deer-Mountain View MP Earl Dreesen said finding solutions to rural crime is in everyone’s best interest.
RCMP Superintendent Garrett Woolsey said tips and other information from the public regarding crimes and criminal activity is vital in the fight against offenders.
“In order to be effective on the crime reduction side of things, we need to know who in the community is offending,” said Woolsey, one of the highest-ranking RCMP officers in Alberta. “We need the community to help us and be our eyes and ears on the ground.”
With more and more criminals from large urban centres coming into rural Alberta to commit offences, it is encouraging to see area stakeholder groups coming together to help counter the threat.
District residents who have information about crimes and criminal activities in their neighbourhoods should be encouraged to report what they know to police without undue delay.
- Singleton is the Mountain View Gazette editor