Crime survey shows County of Wetaskiwin resident concerns stay consistent

Crime survey shows County of Wetaskiwin resident concerns stay consistent

County says 175 surveys filled out by ratepayers, property crime and impaired driving at top

The County of Wetaskiwin’s recent crime survey shows resident continue to be concerned about crime, and remain consistent with the types of crimes they’re concerned about too.

During their regular meeting Jan. 29, councilors read a report from Assistant CAO Jeff Chipley about the recent crime survey.

“During the latter part of 2018, the Wetaskiwin Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Detachment in conjunction with the County of Wetaskiwin, as well as the City of Wetaskiwin and the Town of Millet, conducted a survey to receive feedback from the public on what the policing priorities should be for both the RCMP and local Community Peace Officers for the upcoming year and into the future,” stated Chipley’s report to council.

“Surveys were available in paper form at the Wetaskiwin RCMP Detachment, County of Wetaskiwin Office, and other places in both the City of Wetaskiwin and Town of Millet, and also on the County Website for individuals to complete online if they so wished. After the survey deadline passed on December 31, 2018, results were tabulated for each municipality.

“For the County of Wetaskiwin, there were 175 surveys completed, with the full results for the County of Wetaskiwin provided for review by Council.

“In reviewing the survey results, Administration notes that the top three (3) policing priorities for the RCMP as desired by the public remain consistent with the previous survey completed in 2017 by the County of Wetaskiwin, with the top three (3) being, in order, Major Property Crime, Minor Property Crime, and Impaired Driving.

“The same is also true for the priorities of Community Peace Officers, as Provincial Traffic Enforcement and Bylaw Enforcement remain the top two (2) priorities. Furthermore, in reviewing the comments made by respondents to the survey, there were numerous highly positive comments regarding the Protective Services Department of the County of Wetaskiwin, particularly in regard to the work completed by Community Peace Officers.

“Numerous respondents were appreciative of having Community Peace Officers continually and proactively patrolling throughout the County, provided positive comments in regard to County Community Peace Officers effectively communicating with citizens and following up on files and concerns of the public, and believe that additional Community Peace Officer resources would be a positive advancement for the County of Wetaskiwin. These positive comments were also alongside several consistent areas of concern and improvement outlined by the respondents in respect of the duties and current level of service performed by the RCMP, the criminal justice system, and societal issues that impact the City of Wetaskiwin, as well as the County of Wetaskiwin and Town of Millet.”

Reeve Terry Van de Kraats noted he’s received feedback from residents that they appreciate seeing the CPO’s out and about in the community.

During discussion, it was noted the Thorsby/Breton detachment is still working to fill vacant police positions. Also, a crime analyst position is currently being advertised by the County of Wetaskiwin.

Chipley noted in his report the department aims to provide professional service. “Administration will strive to 2 continually improve upon areas where improvement is desired by the citizens in which the County serves, while maintaining and improving areas where positive comments have been received, not only in regard to the matters dealt with by the Protective Services Department and Community Peace Officers, but also through working with the RCMP in a professional manner,” he added.

Stu.salkeld@pipestoneflyer.ca