Lacombe County’s Rural Crime Resolution was brought forward and supported by its counterparts during the 2018 Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) Spring Convention on March 19th-21st.
The semi-annual event gives rural municipalities the opportunity to discuss and address shared issues and concerns.
The Rural Crime Resolution speaks to the frustrations and shortcomings felt by rural residents, and calls for a review of the justice system and sentencing reforms to address repeat offenders, as well as identifying new strategies and initiatives at federal and provincial levels to prevent rural crime.
“Rural residents are tired of being targeted in their own homes by criminals and feel that their hands are tied as to how to defend themselves,” said Deputy Reeve and Division 5 Councillor Ken Wigmore, who presented the resolution at the convention on March 20th.
“The current ‘catch and release’ of offenders isn’t working and things won’t improve until we address the issues in our justice system and come up with a better solution.”
Now that the Rural Crime Resolution has been approved, the RMA is urging the provincial government, along with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, to request that the provincial and federal governments continue with the review of the criminal justice system and sentencing reforms to get repeat offenders off the street for longer periods of time.
“There is momentum around the issue of rural crime,” said Reeve Paula Law.
“We are hopeful that by working with governments at the local, provincial and federal levels and pushing for changes to our justice system, that our residents will see a reduction in rural crime in the near future.”
County Council continues to focus on the fight against rural crime as a top priority.
Recently, they endorsed a private members motion by MP Shannon Stubbs, who asked the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security to undertake a study on rural crime in Canada and recommend crime reduction initiatives.
Councillors are also involved with local rural crime watch associations and actively find ways to build relationships with law enforcement, crime watch associations and government to build local, provincial and national awareness of the issues.
Council has also supported a number of County-led initiatives, including the growth of the CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) program in the County.
You can see the full Rural Crime Resolution here: https://www.lacombecounty.com/index.php/documents1/corporate-services-1/communications-1/2908-2-18s-combatting-rural-crime-rma-resolution.