A municipal district in Alberta has requested a meeting with the province’s minister of justice to address the issue of rural crime.
During a meeting on October 14th, the Municipal District of Willow Creek agreed to arrange a meeting with Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Kaycee Madu.
Council opted for a meeting with Madu, instead of RCMP officials citing the fact that the issue lies with the courts and not with policing.
“The RCMP are doing their job,” said councillor Darry Markle. “[They] are as frustrated as we are.”
According to Statistics Canada, rural communities in the West face a disproportionate amount of crime when compared to urban areas.
In Saskatchewan, the rural crime rate is twice as high as the rest of the country. In 2017, Canada had 6,210 crimes per 100,000 people in rural areas, while Saskatchewan reported 13,829 rural crimes per 100,000 people.
Earlier this month, Madu took to Twitter to congratulate police on a gun and stolen property trafficking ring bust in rural Alberta.
“I want to thank Alberta’s law enforcement teams for working together to disrupt this criminal enterprise and protecting our rural communities from violent crime,” tweeted Madu about the bust.
Local police and the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) were able to apprehend five suspects and retrieve nearly $200,000 in stolen property and firearms.
The crime ring targeted nearly a dozen rural or small-town locations including Taber, Vauxhall, Lethbridge, Stirling, Vulcan, Bow Island, Seven Persons, Coaldale and Barnwell.
“ALERT worked hand-in-hand with our policing partners to disrupt a group of individuals who were terrorizing small communities with thefts and property crime offences,” ALERT Communications Director Michael Tucker told True North.
“Widespread theft like this, has a huge impact on community safety. Especially in rural communities – it shakes the sense of security amongst the victims. ALERT will continue to work alongside our partners to deliver a swift, robust response.”