Shots fired in multiple locations around North Battleford, Sask.
Multiple shots were fired in various locations overnight in North Battleford, Sask.
Battlefords RCMP said the first of numerous calls reporting gunshots came in Friday just before 12:30 a.m. CT.
In one instance, a caller told police a car was being chased and shot at by people in another vehicle.
Shots were reported in the areas of 95th, 96th, 101st, 102nd, 106th and 109th Streets and on 21st Avenue.
Patrol officers reported hearing gunshots in other locations while they were investigating.
Police were unable to locate any people or buildings that had been hit, but did find the car that had been shot at.
No injuries have been report and police have no suspects in custody.
“In the last couple of days, we’ve seen a bit of an increase in what we’ll call gang activity,” Battlefords RCMP Inspector John Sutherland said.
In North Battleford this past week there was a stabbing, a robbery, a home invasion and another home shot at. This comes on the heels of MacLeans publishing an article calling North Battleford the most dangerous place in Canada.
“These issues didn’t happen overnight and they’re not going to be fixed overnight,” Sutherland said.
“The RCMP tell us these are cyclical in nature, that they ebb and flow. We’re definitely on a high ebb right now,” North Battleford Mayor Ryan Bater said.
Bater said the city started addressing crime in 2014 and has introduced a number of initiatives to address the issue. There is an “Eyes that Care” neighbourhood watch program and Battlefords Citizens on Patrol, which run a security camera registry for residents.
“If we don’t do anything, this problem is going to be perpetual for decades so something must be done,” Bater said. “There are people growing up in this region who aren’t getting the services they need and they’re ending up in these high risk lifestyle and that’s why these things are happening.”
Some residents are taking to social media on the topic of crime. Guy Turcotte started the Facebook page, “North Battleford and area victims of crime” group in 2012. The page has more than 5,000 followers.
“I started it originally because the lack of transparency from the city and the RCMP. We weren’t getting any crime reports,” Turcotte said. “We’re just bringing the problems forward, because if you ignore something it’s not going to fix itself.”
In total, Battlefords RCMP has 54 RCMP officers which deal with the city and a half-hour rural radius.
Anyone with information on crime is asked to contact Battlefords RCMP at 306-446-1720.
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