The Alberta Government says it’s taking action on rural crime, but Kitscoty Rural Crime Watch says more can be done.
The provincial government announced Friday that they are investing $10 million in hiring 39 new officers, 40, civilian staff and more Crown prosecutors to help reduce rural crime in Alberta. Kitscoty and District Rural Crime Watch President Darrell Wright says this is a step forward from the government, but there is still more that can be done.
“To me it signifies that we do have an issue out here in Alberta with rural crime and the funding is a plus that they’re attempting to do something about it. Whether it’s enough could be debatable, but I mean it’s a positive thing.”
The $10 million will also be given to crime reduction units, where officers will be trained on arresting offenders. Policing support centres will also be included in the plan, where officers will be on the front lines protecting the streets instead of behind desks. Wright says that one of the issues in rural areas with the RCMP is response times.
“It’s tough right now for the RCMP to respond to a situation because they’re so far away. So maybe they need a system in place where farmers can group together and work a bit together until the RCMP get there.”
The Kitscoty and District Rural Crime Watch has about 220 members that work with local police to help find offenders and prevent crimes.