Crime continues to be on the rise

Sergeant Sarah Parke, with the Bonnyville RCMP Detachment spoke to Town Council on Tuesday evening, with her quarterly report.

“Rural Crime is on the rise, that’s been an issue in this area. Break & enters are highly, as well as theft of motor vehicles, theft over $5,000 and theft under $5,000,” Sgt. Parke confirms what many suspected to be true. “These are related to the same motives; that being it’s not only the Bonnyville area. It’s an issue at all the detachment in the Eastern Alberta District, and beyond.” Sgt. Parke assures that the RCMP are aware if the issue and are addressing it. There will be a crime forum on December 1st, at the Bonnyville Seniors’ Centre at 6:00 pm to address this issue.

Bonnyville’s newly implemented GIS Unit has been tasked with to focus on crime. “There’s one member of that unit and that’s his main focus, to come up with solutions [to theft related crime].”

Another area of note in her quartet report was extortion files. Although, the detachment only saw two so far this year, it is of note, explains Sgt. Parke, “we’re finding social media plays a part in these types of charges. Often times, youths are involved and it invokes sending inappropriate pictures of themselves or others on the internet. Then getting caught in something where someone else is threatening find something if they don’t send more pictures or that nature.” The Sergeant says there’s a lot of education in trying to prevent this in occuring.

Missing person cases have also increased from last year, confirms Sgt. Parke, “often times that turns out to be a wellbeing check and is reported as a missing person. So often they’re found in short order.” As she explains, there is no cause for concern in the higher number of cases, “technically, it’s still considered a missing person file, but they’re found right away.”

Sgt. Parke also reports that a new member has been assigned to the Bonnyville Detachment. “It brings our constable level up to full compliment” The Sergeant reports that the detachment has a soft vacancy with one of their corporal positions, meaning there is someone assigned; however that person is not able to be here for whatever reason. There is a hard corporal vacancy, as well, meaning that position is completely vacant and there is no one able to fill it. The detachment is waiting to hear back from the staffing K-Division as to who would be taking on that position. They expect to hear back very soon.