RCMP Superintendent Ray Noble says things like Grande Prairie’s young population and high overall income are contributing factors in the city’s crime.
There have been some notably violent crimes in the past few months including a stabbing at a grocery store on July 9, a double homicide at a downtown apartment in June, and a drive by shooting in May.
However, Noble says it is too soon for RCMP to make any specific link between those violent crimes.
“One of the things you have to do on those investigations is kind of wait until they’re investigated and you know the outcomes and have assessed the motives. Of course one year doesn’t make a trend, two years doesn’t make a trend, but it tells you what you have to start paying attention to. Really, the amount of serious and violent crime is something we have to pay attention to here.”
It’s believed that many of these incidents have been targeted attacks, but Noble says that people are becoming more comfortable with the use of firearms and that does concern him when it comes to public safety.
“Firearms aren’t nearly as personal a weapon and they have a much greater range so when a shot is fired that doesn’t hit its intended target it can go a long ways and do damage that is unintended and substantial.”
Noble says the other implication of dealing with more serious crimes more often is that a greater amount resources are taken up by those investigations, which means fewer officers available for day-to-day duties like policing traffic, patrolling the city, and working in schools.