Hot on the heels of some recent crimes in the area, prevention and education were big topics at an area rural crime watch meeting.
Members and the executive of the Battle River Rural Crime Watch (BRRCW) committee — which encompasses Ponoka County east of Secondary Highway 821 as well as portions of the counties of Lacombe and Camrose — held its regular meeting at the Bashaw Library Nov. 9.
Much of the meeting’s focus was on ways to educate the public on how Rural Crime Watch can help as a deterrent, and in prevention. There was also a suggestion to lobby provincial and federal politicians for assistance in these efforts.
Devin Bonnar, BRRCW president, and many of the members present felt it best to invite these politicians to the group’s annual meeting in April as opposed to a petition or letter campaign.
“I believe a good show of support and showing how engaged the group is would have more of an affect,” he said.
One reason for the lobby effort would be to assist the provincial body, Alberta Provincial Rural Crime Watch (APRCW), as it works to produce a recruitment, training and educational video in conjunction with the RCMP.
Bonner stated the idea would be to see more funding come to APRCW for this type of education and promotional material plus to assist in development of further technology like a notification app for RCWs.
The video, which is being produced by Bashaw’s Ben Wilson, began filming this year.
Questions about why some recent criminal activity was not updated through the BRRCW social media accounts were answered by both Bashaw RCMP Sgt. Bruce Holliday and Camrose RCMP Cst. Trent Kenyon.
Holliday explained Camrose RCMP’s current practice of sending out a weekly release of what’s occurred is the “best practice” that his detachment will soon be implementing and cautioned people about wanting to get out information quickly.
Kenyon added, “If there is a need for the public to know or there is a risk to public safety, you can be assured there will be a release made immediately. Sometimes you just need to trust that there is a reason why the RCMP have not sent out any information.”