A Prince Albert area politician has a new perspective on rural crime after being targeted herself recently by a thief.
Nadine Wilson, member of the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Saskatchewan Rivers, had her truck stolen from her rural property north of Prince Albert. Wilson serves on several rural crime committees, and is regularly asked to speak on the provincial response to rural crime at local rural crime watch meetings.
"But when a person actually experiences it and walks in someone else's shoes, you are much more empathetic and that's when it hits you, you realize the economic and the personal impact," she said.
As of Friday, Wilson's truck has not been located. The matter was still the subject of an active investigation by the RCMP. According to Wilson, she and her husband thought they had a good security system in place.
"I believe some of the criminals are very sophisticated nowadays in how they go about looking for personal property so we are going to continue the fight as a province," she said. "We're surrounded by a lot of wonderful people who have been very beneficial to the province and we know that there's always the vulnerable side because of addictions and mental health issues."
Wilson said she supports a renewed call for changes to the province's trespassing law. A questionnaire is posted to the Ministry of Justice’s website. One question asks if the public should be required to get the express permission of the rural land owner or occupier regardless of activity, and if failure to gather consent constitutes an offence. The ministry has also asked how such permission should be obtained.
"I think if we can tighten up the law more that is better. I think the province will continue to work with SARM and SUMA to develop funding strategies such as automatic license plate recognition for police vehicles," she said.
Moving forward, Wilson said she would also like to see more police liason officers in the schools, to help direct youth who may be considered high risk to offend .
On Twitter: @nigelmaxwell
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