On Sept. 30 the Saskatchewan Rural Crime Watch Association elected its first Board of Directors to assist local areas with the development and sustainability of local Crime Watch groups. This non-profit association led by SARM, SUMA, Rural Crime Watch members, the RCMP, and the Ministry of Corrections and Policing is a community-led and police- supported program dedicated to preventing and reducing criminal behaviour. It’s an initiative both SARM and SUMA hope community members will actively support by becoming volunteers.
“By reporting suspicious activity immediately to the RCMP or 911, volunteers become the extra eyes and ears for local police when they may not be in their area,” says SARM President, Ray Orb. “Rural Crime Watch has already been proven successful. Statistics show that areas with organized Crime Watch programs tend to have a significant reduction in criminal activity, including theft of equipment and grain, vandalism, dumping of garbage, break-and-enters, and cattle rustling.”
To participate in the program, Rural Crime Watch volunteers will have to complete security checks with their local RCMP. The role of members is to observe, record, and immediately report all unusual or suspicious vehicles or occurrences to their local RCMP detachment, or 911 in the case of emergencies. The RCMP, in return, will inform the Rural Crime Watch group when there is criminal activity in the area.
“Our communities have always looked out for each other,” says SUMA President, Rodger Hayward. “We share a common goal of wanting safer homes and safer communities, and starting a Rural Crime Watch program in your area makes that goal actionable. Simply put, working together helps the police solve and prevent crime, which makes our communities safer places to live.”
The inaugural Board of Directors meeting is being planned for the near future where a President and Vice-President will be elected.
SARM is the independent association that represents its membership of rural municipal government in Saskatchewan. We champion the value of rural Saskatchewan, and as its voice, we speak strong and clear to represent RM’s.