By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News
The RCMP would like to remind residents to be vigilant to help reduce crime.
During their regular Sept. 5 meeting, Lethbridge County council met with staff sgt. Glenn Henry of the Coaldale RCMP and cpl. Paul Bedard of the Picture Butte RCMP.
Both officers expressed a desire to increase community dialogue on what residents can do to reduce rural crime.
When asked what they were seeing this past summer on rural crime, Bedard noted that as it was broken down into categories they were seeing a decrease in some things and increases in others.
“I know for us, our people crimes, the serious offences, assaults and that kind of stuff, is really down significantly for 2018 and 2017,” said Bedard.
“Property crime is up a little bit over the last year, and kind of in line with the two years before it; 2018, 2017. So really, nothing glaring.”
Henry said in the Coaldale area, they have seen an increase in RV thefts, noting they recently had two stolen in Coaldale, one of which was recovered in Crowsnest Pass.
They were still seeing thefts from vehicles and of vehicles. The Coaldale detachment had utilized a bait vehicle in the month of June around their area, but no one took the bait.
“For the life of us, we couldn’t get anyone to steal our vehicle,” said Henry. “We had money in it and everything, lots of good stuff. But there is a little bit of frustration on our part, in that we’re trying to be intelligence-led, we’re trying to do things to target certain groups and stuff, and we’ve had some success.
“Part of it is intelligence-led policing where we’re identifying people that are hitting us the most, dealing with them, but we know it’s a vacuum. There’s always going to be people following behind.”
While he believed that they were in a downward trend in crime right now, they could get a sudden rash of thefts next week.
Henry stressed the need for residents to be vigilant, regardless of the level of crime in their area
“Crime is not rampant, it’s not out of control, we’re always going to have it. But if they do their part, lock their vehicles, don’t leave their keys in the vehicles, don’t leave laptops and wallets and that type of stuff in their vehicles, lock their homes, get to know they’re neighbours; they do all the right crime prevention things, that will help us all in reducing thefts in the rural areas and urban areas as well.”