Crime rates determine RCMP priorities, increase communication

Following a recent Leduc RCMP priorities survey, Insp. Kevin Kunetzki attended the Leduc Rural Crime Watch Association’s...

Left to right: Grade 3 students Brayden Hansen

Left to right: Grade 3 students Brayden Hansen

Following a recent Leduc RCMP priorities survey, Insp. Kevin Kunetzki attended the Leduc Rural Crime Watch Association’s annual general meeting April 12 to talk about the results of the survey and what rural policing looks like in the county.

The identified top three priorities are illegal drugs, property crime/major crime and impaired driving. More than 2,000 residents took part in the survey. “I think it gave us a pretty good idea of what’s on peoples’ minds,” said Kunetzki.

“In our part of the county we didn’t really see an increase in property crime,” said Kunetzki, referring to land east of Calmar. However, he added district and province wide property crime has increased significantly.

Sgt. Corey Kyle of the Thorsby/Breton detachment says he has seen an increase in break and enters in his area. “Often a few people are involved in numerous crimes.”

To help combat the crime wave Kyle says the detachment is keeping a closer eye on prolific offenders; including 750 compliance checks. He added the detachment has received a few calls claiming harassment from this. “But they’re choosing to be involved in crime.”

Moving forward, Kunetzki says increasing communication with the public is another priority for the RCMP detachment. He says this comes with a risk though, as people are kept better aware of the crime in their area there is a tendency to connect that with rising crime rates, which may not be the case. “I want you to know what’s going on in your communities.”

As part of increased communication the detachment is also sharing reports between members to keep everyone up to date on incident highlights.

“We’re dealing with 16,000 files per year,” said Kunetzki. He explained 10,000 of those are from the City of Leduc and the other 6,000 are from Leduc County.

A media fan-out system also helps the RCMP get pertinent information out in a timely manner.

When it comes to deterrents and security systems for rural areas Kunetzki says residents should identify one of the alarm call recipients a neighbour, as it can take up to 20 minutes before the RCMP are made aware an alarm has been triggered.

“The trail camera system, we’ve had some great success with those,” said Kunetzki.