Crime watch group set for meeting in Christopher Lake

Taken from: PrinceAlbert NOW

Despite the cold weather, many are expected to attend tonight’s Lake Country Crime Watch Group meeting.

Federal MPs Randy Hoback and Gary Vidal are expected to attend the Christopher Lake Legion Hall along with Saskatchewan Rivers MLA Nadine Wilson for the group’s quarterly meeting.

The group’s president, Karla Bear, hopes many can make it out.

“I am really hoping that we’re going to have a lot of people come out,” she said.

Along with elected politicians, Dawn Robins from the Bernice Sayese Centre – which is a partner in a new anti-gang initiative in P.A. – will also be on hand as will Cam Scott from the provincial Crown Prosecutor’s Office. The crime watch group wants to have a discussion about crime reduction and what can be done to help change laws. There has been frustration raised about what some see as the light jail terms given to repeat break and enter offenders. Trespass laws and where homeowners stand regarding the protection of their property and personal security have also been points of contention.

Bear said many in the area are concerned with the increased crime rate.

“We’ve had a lot of break and enters at the lake, the vehicle theft just in the last two or three weeks alone has risen quite a bit,” she said.

Bear said by having some provincial and federal names at the table, she hopes it will lead to more resources toward their initiative.

“Some laws are provincial and some are federal, so by having representatives from both governments, maybe we can get a little bit of guidance,” she said.

Since starting up two years ago, Bear said the group launched a Citizens on Patrol group which has helped educate residents on what they can do to protect their property.

Bear said the group is also working to engage neighbouring communities including Sturgeon Lake First Nation, which invited the Lake Country Crime Watch Group to a public safety meeting this past summer. Bear added they are also working to establish relationships with Montreal Lake Cree Nation and Lac La Ronge Indian Band.

“Crime doesn’t really have any borders,” she said.

The meeting in Christopher Lake is scheduled for 7 p.m.