Dealing with Crime Effectively in our City
One of the major issues that I’m hearing in the neighbourhoods is the increase in crime, or the perceived feeling that crime is increasing. A recent report to council notes that crime has decreased, but one wonders if that’s reported crime and residents are just too frustrated by the lack of response or action that they’ve stopped reporting break-ins, thefts and vandalism.
Take a moment to watch my video on crime in our city on my Facebook page.
Spruce Grove and its Strengths
I moved back to Spruce Grove from Edmonton because I wanted to live in a safe community. Edmonton is safe but I lived in a condo where an attempted murder took place in the parkade. I lived in a fairly nice area of town yet this still happened. I was out of there. So I built a house in the city I grew up in back in 2012 and moved back in June, 2013.
I find Spruce Grove to be a safe city. I know my neighbours and we look out for each other. Spruce Grove should be a city where you can walk down the street at any time and feel safe. Spruce Grove should be a city where running or biking the heritage trails should come without fear of being assaulted. The crimes that seem to be a regular occurrence- the crimes of opportunity, seem to be more and more and we have to address this as a city council.
Call me selfish, but I want Spruce Grove to offer the safety and security to families that I had when I was growing up here as a kid. We could leave our doors unlocked and parents could send us to the park unaccompanied. We may never get to that again, but there should be a level of security for families here that it is a safe place to raise a family.
Crime is a Serious Issue
We are a fast growing city and we’re located next to a major highway. We’re going to see problems that arise with a city whose population is increasing- drugs, vandalism, thefts and break-ins and even assaults. None of us are naive to think we’re going to get rid of all of it, but we can expect that we can curb it and really address crime related issues in our city.
We have RCMP but it seems like they’re chronically undermanned or unable to address the crimes as they happen in Spruce Grove. I myself have an example of vandalism and being on a call to RCMP. They never came and I’ve yet to hear back from them. That’s not acceptable and it’s how we start to lose our faith in those meant to protect us.
We have bylaw and enforcement services. But again, same issue. Bylaw isn’t working when the majority of the incidents are occurring. Peace officers seem unavailable when we need them most. How do we course correct and ensure we have enough protective services to cover our city?
Crime is down supposedly but how many of us are just not reporting any longer?
Involving the Community
We have community groups such as the Watchmen who are doing their best to help deter crime but it’s early yet and we need more organization around community groups who are out to help deter crime. They need support and possibly training and a coordinated effort with police.
When I’m out door knocking, this is a concern to many. And many have ideas on what we can do to help reduce crime in the city, and I want to hear more ideas!
One resident said we should be lighting up the trail system with motion sensor lights, so that people can use the trails safely and securely. He also mentioned we should be cutting back the underbrush from trails to reduce crimes of opportunity (assaults, robberies etc).
What do you think we should be doing? As a council, we should be championing and trying new ideas and make reducing crime in our city a priority.