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County hoping more officers will spark rural crime number drop

In what some hope is a turn of the corner, County of Grande Prairie RCMP officers opened 90 new criminal files from June to September 2019, according to its Third Quarter Report.

Reeve Leanne Beaupre says rural property theft remains an ongoing issue, however, she remains confident progress is being made at a reasonable speed.

“Crime continues to be a concern in the area, and rural crime, as we’ve heard most recently from the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General’s office, is very prevalent and they’ve heard it too at a provincial level.”

“They’re taking steps to address that, and so is the County of Grande Prairie is taking steps to address it and the safety of our residents,” she adds.

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To try to stem the spike in theft, the County of Grande Prairie has granted Beaverlodge RCMP $330,000 to hire two new officers to work out of that detachment.

Meanwhile, County of Grande Prairie Regional Enforcement Services officers handed out a massive number of tickets on highways and roadways in the region. In a report delivered to councillors earlier this week, it was revealed officers handed out 3,420 tickets from the start of the year until the end of September. That’s more than 1,000 more than were given in the same period in 2018.

Beaupre says the stats presented and explained by members of Enforcement Services, as well as the RCMP, have made a big difference in breaking down the amount of crime happening both on and off the roads in the region.

“When they did review the Police Act, the requirement to report to municipalities has been very beneficial. It’s updated; it’s in the public forum. People understand what’s happening and the RCMP comments on things they can.”

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