Theft of vehicles is among the top crimes being experienced in central Alberta and is one thing that an effective rural crime watch program can help thwart. File photo

Theft of vehicles is among the top crimes being experienced in central Alberta and is one thing that an effective rural crime watch program can help thwart. File photo

Up to date info, volunteers needed for Ponoka rural crime watch

Meeting in early January to hopefully move group forward

With a spike in property crime and vandalism in rural regions, an effective rural crime watch is especially important.

That’s the goal of the Ponoka Rural Crime Watch and the hope is the outrage and anger felt by area residents can be channelled into a more efficient and better organization. At least, that’s what president Bryce Liddle — also a Ponoka County councillor — hopes to see

“It’s obvious that property crime is the number one problem we are seeing in central Alberta. The randomness of it and that it keeps happening has gotten a lot of people upset,” he said.

“Our big goal is to get these new members and some others back on board, coming to meetings and hopefully finding more that want to be involved at the board level. This has to be a community driven initiative and if we have more people to do all the things that need done, then we will have a more effective and bettter system to keep people up to date.”

Liddle explained the board members will be having a meeting in the next couple of weeks to discuss a number of items, one of which will be a date for a regular meeting. Liddle anticipates that date will be in early January.

“At our last meeting, there were a lot of first time members who weren’t quite sure about what to do. We are also still dealing with the old phone tree method of reaching people,” he added.

“The hope is that we can find ways to get an updated list of our members, then have them provide us with all of their proper information such as cell numbers and email addresses.”

Once that can be done, Liddle stated the group is hoping to move to the more immediate notification system via email or even text messaging when an alert needs to be sent to members.

“That’s our big goal — to get all of the right information so our fan-out will be more effective and timely,” he said.

“If we can do that, then we will be able to move forward.”

He also stated that work is also going to be done to find guest speakers or presenters for the regular meetings in order to help people learn more about deterring criminal activity.

PonokaRCMPRural Crime Watch