Slave Lake mayor talks about the ‘crime wave’

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Slave Lake Mayor Francesca Ward took a few minutes at council’s April 23 meeting to talk about what was listed on the agenda as ‘industrial crime,’ but turned out to be about crime in general, and what’s being done about it.

The RCMP is working on it, Ward said, and has been updating the town. Additional RCMP resources have been mobilized, or will be, when a crime reduction analyst finishes his or her work.

The purpose of the analysis, Ward said, is to give the RCMP a clearer idea where and when property crimes are happening. That will allow them to tailor their patrols and investigations so as to be most effective.

There is a regional crime reduction unit that could be assigned to Slave Lake as a result. These would be resources additional to the local detachment.

RCMP have told the town that much of the property crimes and thefts are the work of a small number of repeat offenders.

Speaking of those repeat offenders, Councillor Andrew Achoba, asked for clarification on the question or perhaps the impression that might be out there that they are among the clients of the town’s homeless shelter.

The shelter manager is working with the RCMP, Ward said. People doing crimes are not welcome there. The RCMP is welcome at the shelter, and has been visiting.

“The goal is to not provide services to career criminals,” the mayor added.

Ward also spoke about discussions recently held with three provincial government ministers, about crime, homeless encampments and more.

“The Flat Top encampment is to be dismantled,” she said.

Other camp sites around town have been visited by law enforcement, Ward said. Nobody was found in them.

“We’re working with the property owners,” she said.

Town of Slave Lake Mayor Francesca Ward

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