Crime rate in Rimbey discussed at forum

Candidates questioned on solutions to crime rate

Crime in Rimbey!

What are council candidates going to do about it?

A volley of questions focused on the high crime rate in Rimbey was directed at candidates at Wednesday’s forum.

According to candidate Bill Coulthard the crime rate in Rimbey is out of control, although another candidate begged to differ.

Gayle Rondeel said that Rimbey is not unique regarding crime, which causes one to ponder, “is the crime rate out of control everywhere?”

Questions about how the future council planned to address crime were tossed out to the unsuspecting candidates like so many fortune cookies, all devoid of the secret answer.

The candidates listened to the questions and agreed there was a problem. But, really, they didn’t have any answers either, not definitive ones, anyway.

It is a point of interest to note, however, that the fact that crime is a serious issue in Rimbey is not just a perception. It is a reality.

People are angry. They are also worried, and, perhaps, frightened and justifiably so.

However, attempts to generate interest in a Citizen on Patrol group have not gotten off the ground. Council has tried not once, but twice, to light a spark of interest in enough people to form such a group.

Not enough interest, not enough RCMP officers and too many drug dealers and drug users and too much crime seem to be the problems.

So what is the solution?

Perhaps the crime rate is only the tip of the iceberg and the real problems lie buried underneath the drugs and the theft and the domestic violence.

Therefore keeping councillors in Rimbey, trained councillors to help deal with drug addiction and family violence and serious mental health concerns seems like a probable solution.

The new council might considering adding more dollars in the budget for counseling even while they continue to negotiate for increased RCMP officers.

And the citizens themselves need to step up to the plate.

They really do.

There is strength in numbers. There is strength in united voices. And there is strength in community, in caring and in looking after not only that which is yours, but that which is your neighbours, as well.

Rimbey is very well known for its volunterism – people helping people. Having such an organization as Citizens on Patrol is exactly that.

It is true there is no definitive answer regarding crime. It will rear its ugly head always simply because in the history of mankind crime has never been completely obliterated.

And it never will.

But, investing in more counseling services, forming some type of crime watch patrols and lobbying for more RCMP officers are all positive steps that can be taken to help alleviate the problem.

And, when the next political forum rolls around, candidates can boast about their town by saying the crime rate is low here.

No doubt there will be other issues. Perhaps the need for a new library will be the focal point of a future forum.

But, if one could look, without rose coloured glasses, four years down the road and say Rimbey has a lower than average crime rate that would be amazing.

Let’s make it happen, people!

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