Rural crime, drug trade, top BLC’s wish list

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Big Lakes County council wants more police presence in the community to curb crime.
At its regular meeting April 27, council approved its top three priorities for High Prairie RCMP and Faust RCMP.
Although not in order, council selected rural police visibility as a new priority from previous years. Other priorities include:
-Drug reduction with education and enforcement.
-Crime prevention and habitual offender management specific to property crime, rural crime response time and persons crime.
Several councillors believe police presence in the community will deter crime and other issues such as people who drive all-terrain vehicles irresponsibly.
“If we have more police visible in the community it will help with concerns such as ATVs,” Kinuso Councillor Roberta Hunt said.
“It would be good to have police visit schools, businesses and events,” she added.
High Prairie East – Banana Belt Councillor Tyler Airth agreed.
“If they’re visible in the community, it’s going to make a difference.”
He is concerned police spend so much time in the office.
“Their job is a pile of paper work,” Airth said.
North Gilwood – Triangle Councillor Jim Zabolotniuk added crime in outlying areas is a concern.
“Rural crime is a big issue,” Zabolotniuk said.
South Sunset House – Gilwood Councillor Ann Stewart went further.
“Drugs and rural crime are concerns,” she said.
“Let’s focus on drugs,” she added.
Proposed priorities were presented by Brett Hawken, director of community and protective services. Previously, High Prairie RCMP approached administration to provide a list of council’s top three priorities for the High Prairie and Faust detachments, but it did not happen this year.
“Administration is being proactive in asking the new council’s priorities so we can relay this information to the RCMP,” Hawken told council.

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