Most people want to live in a community that is safe and free of crime.
However, there are also people – criminals – who seem to be omnipresent in every community.
When crime increases, especially major criminal activity, people seem to always point the finger at the police who, some would say, ‘aren’t doing their job”.
Preventing crime is a community responsibility – one not just belonging to the local RCMP.
That message was driven home during an information forum held recently in Stettler with RCMP Sergeant Lorne Adamitz of the drug and organized crime awareness division for Alberta.
To help police detect drug activity, police rely heavily on tips and information from neighbours and citizens.
“Police are only as good as the people around them,” said Sergeant Adamitz.
“The general public can be the eyes and ears – that’s how we work together.”
Many people may think that crime plagues only major cities and not the small rural communities, they may need to think again.
Crime appears to have been on the rise in many small communities in east-central Alberta as witnessed by the stories in many community weeklies.
Building relationships is paramount to create and maintain safe and healthy communities to reduce and possibly eliminate crime.
Police and experts on community life agree that building communites is all about building inter-generational relationships.
In his book “Community: The Structure of Belonging”, author and community consultant Peter Block of the United States explains that strong communities are not based and built on economics or money, communties are strengthened by relationships, friendship and generating a sense of accountability for all residents and citizens.
More money and more police is not the real answer to solving the problem of criminality, it’s simply getting to know your neighbours and people in your community.
Wouldn’t’the safest community be one that has no police service because the town doesn’t have any crime?
To customize an old phrase, it takes a community to eliminate crime.
When people nurture and express love and respect to others, even potential criminals or people on the fringe can start to develop a sense of belonging, which may well encourage them to want to build their lives in positive ways.
— Richard Froese