We always encourage citizens to get involved in their community at a grassroots level, so taking part in the Stop Crime Forum coming up Oct. 3 at Outriders is a no-brainer.
You can’t ignore the crime rate in this region and we don’t think anyone is, but whether the numbers are trending higher or lower than average is irrelevant. The fact is, they are high and innocent people are being victimized on a daily basis, only to see their assailants make their way through the justice system and find their way back into the community, most often without the rehabilitation they desperately need to break the cycle of addiction and crime.
As one of the organizers of the upcoming forum said, it’s time to do something.
Most certainly, but what?
Maybe the forum will get us a little closer to that answer, if we all put our heads together. It has to take into account that addiction is social problem, not a justice problem, and that the ramifications of living in a police state are not beneficial to maintaining the freedoms we enjoy.
It’s going to be an interesting meeting, but in the meantime, let’s take a look at what they’re doing down the highway in the Barrhead area.
The Barrhead & Area Regional Crime Coalition (BARCC) was created in 2017 as a partnership between the Town of Barrhead, County of Barrhead, Woodlands County, the local crime-watch group and the Barrhead RCMP in response to concerns of growing property crimes.
The overall purpose of BARCC is “taking an active role in reducing crime through coordinated efforts in education and awareness of crime prevention and reporting of suspicious activities.”
BARCC Connect is a program that is used to send out alerts to residents about the criminal activity occurring in their area. It also provides weather warnings, road closures due to accidents and other situations.
The program send out alerts via texts, e-mails and even phone calls to residents’ landlines. The alerts are sent either by RCMP or by designated users at all three partner municipalities.
It seems to be having an impact and the partnership was recognized by the province in September with an Outstanding Provincial Achievement Award. Whether we try to join up with BARCC, or create our own entity, it’s a great grassroots idea that seems to be making a difference.