Rural Crime Watch groups will be able to communicate even better soon, and will have the help of the RCMP to keep on top of crime in the R.M.s.
The Saskatchewan Rural Crime Watch Association announced on Monday, another step has been taken toward their administrative goals, having recently elected its first Board of Directors.
On September 30th the Saskatchewan Rural Crime Watch Association elected its first Board of Directors to assist local areas with the development and sustainability of local Crime Watch groups. This non-profit association led by SARM, SUMA, Rural Crime Watch members, the RCMP, and the Ministry of Corrections and Policing is a community-led and police- supported program dedicated to preventing and reducing criminal behaviour. It’s an initiative both SARM and SUMA hope community members will actively support by becoming volunteers.
Reeve of the R.M. of Weyburn, Norm McFadden said this could help with our biggest concerns here: garbage dumping, and speeding on grid roads.
"We get phone calls into the office about people speeding down the grid roads and that's a danger one, too," said McFadden. "I mean, typically most grid roads, 80 to 90 K an hour is speed limit, and there's sometimes I've heard of people go on 120 and 130 down some grid roads. It's just crazy."
When it comes to garbage being dumped in ditches, on property, and even at Nickle Lake Regional Park recently (read more HERE), McFadden said it's actually, "amazing how much that does happen."
"It's usually in the spring and then again kind of in the fall, around this time," he explained. "That's probably the most common thing that happens around here, and it ranges from everything dumping out home appliances, old snow machines, literally just household garbage, it's all over the map as to what you find."
McFadden said better communication between R.M.s will help ensure the culprits of these kinds of crimes are caught.
"I mean if something going on in a neighbouring R.M., and it's working its way this way they have that connection they can make with the volunteers on this side to kind of bring him up to speed what's going on," he added.
"By reporting suspicious activity immediately to the RCMP or 911, volunteers become the extra eyes and ears for local police when they may not be in their area," said SARM President, Ray Orb. "Rural Crime Watch has already been proven successful. Statistics show that areas with organized Crime Watch programs tend to have a significant reduction in criminal activity, including theft of equipment and grain, vandalism, dumping of garbage, break-and-enters, and cattle rustling."
To participate in the program, Rural Crime Watch volunteers will have to complete security checks with their local RCMP. The role of members is to observe, record, and immediately report all unusual or suspicious vehicles or occurrences to their local RCMP detachment, or 911 in the case of emergencies. The RCMP, in return, will inform the Rural Crime Watch group when there is criminal activity in the area.
"Our communities have always looked out for each other,” says SUMA President, Rodger Hayward. “We share a common goal of wanting safer homes and safer communities, and starting a Rural Crime Watch program in your area makes that goal actionable. Simply put, working together helps the police solve and prevent crime, which makes our communities safer places to live."
The inaugural Board of Directors meeting is being planned for the near future where a President and Vice-President will be elected.