Chestermere RCMP are meeting their policing goals for the year although property crimes continue to be a problem in the city.
City council received the quarterly update detailing the RCMP’s activities in the second quarter at the Nov. 7 council meeting.
“According to the most recent stats in our area, Chestermere is one of the safest places to live. Our detachment here works hard to engage with people in the community and identify potential problems before they arise,” said Chestermere Mayor Patricia Matthews.
RCMP detachment commander Staff Sgt. Mark Wielgosz is pleased with the progress made towards policing goals in the community.
“Overall I’m happy with the progress that we’ve been making,” said Wielgosz, “and certainly the contributions that our members have made so far in the last quarter in our community.”
Theft from vehicles and of vehicles continues to be a frequent problem in the city.
“We can’t be everywhere all the time and that’s where we need the public’s assistance when trying to reduce crime,” he said.
In the last quarter, RCMP members checked about 3000 vehicles to make sure they were locked.
Despite these kinds of property crimes being down in the second quarter, the cumulative numbers continue to increase.
“We may surpass the numbers of that last year,” said Wielgosz.
Crime analysis for the region has shown that increases in property crime are occurring across the board.
The best way to combat these crimes is to ensure vehicles are locked with no valuables visible.
“If your car isn’t an attractive target, if there’s nothing in there that someone can take or nothing that’s quickly accessible then the chances are the person’s going to move on,” he said.
Matthews echoes this advice.
“The RCMP have been doing a very concentrated effort to remind people to lock their car doors and garage doors to avoid providing temptation to criminals and hopefully residents will heed that advice,” she said.
Wielgosz also recommends getting to know your neighbours so that people in the community can help watch out for each other.
Knowing what cars and people are normally around helps to identify suspicious activities in the neighbourhood.
“If you notice some suspicious activity or someone who shouldn’t be there the first call should be to call the police to come check it out,” he said.
If police are able to attend right away they may be able to stop someone from committing more crimes in Chestermere.
Wielgosz cites a string of recent thefts from vehicles where a member of the public called the RCMP.
“Our members showed up in a timely manner and we captured a few criminals who were very active in…Chestermere and the surrounding area,” he said.
Other successes in the past quarter include reduction of collisions in Chestermere and visibility in the community.
A success in this area came on Halloween.
RCMP members made an effort to engage the community, handing out candy to trick-or-treaters as the patrolled the community.
“It made their evening, certainly the kids evening, when they found out the police were handing out candy,” said Wielgosz.
This community engagement initiative made it on to social media with a thread on the I Love Chestermere Facebook page.
“The comments that came forward were very positive,” he said.
Positive interactions with the community is one of the rewarding parts of the job said Wielgosz.
Going forwards RCMP will continue to work on their crime reduction goals including a continued focus on attendance to community events and reduction of impaired driving.
“The next national impaired driving initiative will take place on Dec. 3,” he said.
The RCMP continue to look for ways to engage the community. Wielgosz is happy to discuss resident’s concerns.
“Our Detachment Commander, Staff Sgt. Wielgosz, is a very approachable person and open to conversation with residents,” said Matthews, “if you ever have any policing questions or concerns please feel free to give him a shout.”
To view a copy of the quarterly report go to the city’s website, www.chestermere.ca.