Frustrations and concerns over property crime in the province have prompted a call for the Sask Party government to create a provincial rural crime watch group.
The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) held a meeting with stakeholders last Friday to discuss ways to get the provincial government on board. SARM President Ray Orb said there are currently over 100 loosely-organized crime watch groups spread across the province.
"We need to have some consistency and we need to have an organization that can spearhead and be helpful for other municipalities that want to join," Orb said.
Orb said he has got the ball rolling and has already pitched the idea to several ministers.
"We had a brief conversation just the other day with the Minister of Finance and she's on-side with it," Orb said.
The province of Alberta has a provincial rural crime watch association, and Orb said he would like to see Saskatchewan impliment a similar model.
Representatives from SARM, the RCMP, Public Safety, and several rural crime watch groups were in attendance at the meeting last week. Among those representatives was Elaine McMillan, who has helped spearhead a rural crime watch group in the Prince Albert area. She said the meeting was very positive and added it would be great to have all the groups, who are scattered in pockets across the province, working as one collective body.
"It would save incorporation costs and we would be following the same rules, regulations, and bylaws," she said.
McMillan said her rural crime watch group invited Premier Scott Moe to attend their meeting July 12 in Christopher Lake, but he was unable to make it.
"We are really hoping our premier attends our meeting in August and talks about the exciting possible provincial crime watch group coming up, but more importantly listens to the concerns from our membership," she said.
At last week's meeting, a decision was made to appoint a working group to spearhead the initiative. McMillan was among those asked to be on the committee. Orb said the initiative would likely come up again at SARM's mid-term convention in the fall.
On Twitter: @nigelmaxwell
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