There’s been a surge in rural crime in Alberta in recent months, and the Alberta Community Crime Prevention Association hopes a convention this week could be a step to change that.
Chair Jean Bota tells the Alberta Morning News that this year’s convention will focus on ways to address rural crime and opioid addiciton, and she says in some cases, the solutions that communities use to address the problems don’t always work.
Bota says communities shouldn’t rely on just RCMP to help tackle the situation.
“Policing is one part of the solution. It’s not the whole picture, so you need to look at the prevention, the intervention, and the education, so the policing aspect, maybe it’s the last resort.”
Bota, who is also a Red Deer County councillor, says communities should also consider working together and forming rural crime watch groups or citizen patrol watch groups so they can share and exchange resources and information.
“Being in a rural area, the police detachment that I’m a part of, they thoroughly are very appreciative of what we can do for them”
“We are the eyes and ears. We know what’s going on.”
However, Bota cautions people who think they should take justice into their own hands rather than seeking police, saying, “vigilante groups and vigilantes have never solved anything.”
Some of the featured speakers at the annual ACCPA Conference include Donald MacPherson, the Executive Director of the Canadian Drug Police Coalition, and Darlene Wilson, the Community Facilitator for Social Planning at the City of Red Deer.
The convention runs May 8th to 10th at the Holiday Inn Conference Centre in Edmonton