Two representatives from the Stettler RCMP made a presentation to Stettler town council on Tues., April 15, laying out objectives for this year.
“We want to push our presence more in rural areas,” said Cpl. Cameron Russell.
He pointed out that when people in rural areas don’t see much of a police presence, they don’t think to call the RCMP when there are problems, and the police want to change that.
Russell and Sgt. Duncan Babchuk presented four main points where the RCMP plans to improve this year.
The police plan to improve traffic regulation and enforcement, particularly in rural areas.
The way to achieve this objective is to sway drivers from committing offences that may cause car accidents and injuries.
The Stettler detachment is also planning on educating youth about bicycle safety. The goal for this objective is to increase the number of provincial traffic charges and increase number of commercial vehicle enforcement actions.
Babchuk and Russell talked about how drinking and driving has received a lot of awareness and media attention, but the correlation between alcohol and a variety of other crimes has not. Alcohol has been linked to domestic violence, robbery, assault, and sexual assault.
“We spent a lot of time dealing with domestic issues (this winter),” Babchuk said.
To combat this, the Stettler RCMP plans to enhance enforcement in recreation areas such as Buffalo Lake and campgrounds in the area. They will also step up presentations to youth on alcohol related topics.
The Stettler RCMP also wants to prevent drug use among youth, by expanding drug education programs and by raising the number of drug distribution charges.
The last goal for 2014-2015 is to reduce property and natural resource crimes. The RCMP plans to do this by getting the local population to report crimes in both rural and urban areas. They want to strengthen Stettler’s “Citizens on Patrol” group, renew bicycle patrols in town, increase rural enforcement initiatives, and organize rural crime watch groups.
The RCMP report gave a summary on the difference in charges between 2012 and 2013. There was a decrease of 38.5 per cent of youth crimes in 2013. The number of adults charged also declined in 2013 by 17.9 per cent as compared to 2012.