Crime prevention questions answered

The Municipal District of Bonnyville’s rural crime prevention sessions are a need in our area and providing valuable information, says Staff Sergeant for the Cold Lake RCMP Detachment, Scott Buchanan.

S/Sgt. Buchanan attended two sessions since taking his posting in the city in December. The first in Cherry Grove at the end of December and most recently, last Wednesday in Beaverdam.

One question he hears a lot at these sessions is: what rights do property owners have to protect themselves against theft – to which S/Sgt. Buchanan says can be debated.

“Everyone is bound by the criminal code,” he explained, “you are able to use reasonable force to protect yourself or your family from harm. However, that will always be debated in court.” Should you use force, for example, a firearm, you would be subject to an investigation.

With recent cases making the news, Gerald Stanley/Colton Bushie and Eddie Maurice, the S/Sgt. wanted to point out the emotional toll an investigation could take on someone. An investigation and perhaps a subsequent trial, the victim of the theft could feel as though he/she is being treated as the criminal. One would have to be prepared for that process as well when considering using force to prevent theft.

“I would always put my safety first and advise not to engage over the loss of property,” stated Buchanan.

Crime prevention through environmental design is a great way to safely better protect yourself and your property from crime advises Buchanan. Watch the Municipal District of Bonnyville’s Facebook page for information on upcoming sessions.