Crime is a problem in Red Deer, relative to a number of other Alberta communities, says the founder of a crime-tracking app.
According to RCMP crime mapping, more than 500 crimes were reported in Red Deer throughout October, explained Lightcatch founder Darren Boyer.
Comparatively, about 120 crimes were attempted in Spruce Grove and Stony Plain combined – communities with about half of Red Deer’s population collectively – and there were 245 crimes in Grande Prairie, which has a population of about 63,000, during the same month.
“Other communities have less crime and I believe the same can be done in Red Deer,” Boyer said.
There is a “standardization of communication” in some other communities when there are crimes, said Boyer.
“Rather than information being split up among multiple (social media) groups and multiple community groups, they’re more likely to use a single place to collaborate as a community and with policing,” he said.
Information being split up and delayed impedes good policing, Boyer said, adding there are “actionable things” homeowners can do to prevent crime.
“The average theft is reported 12 hours late. Less than 20 per cent of thefts are reported in under an hour. This gives the property criminal such a head start and it makes the investigation expensive that it’s not practical for police to pursue it,” he said.
“One of the things homeowners can do is have a security system, with at least two layers of protection.”
Lightcatch started actively getting results in Red Deer since 2020. The app has been downloaded about 1,600 times in the city and about 1,500 in Red Deer County.
As of Sunday, there have been 72 reported incidents of mischief to a property, 40 break and enters, 37 thefts from a motor vehicle, 38 thefts over and under $5,000, and 33 motor vehicle thefts over the past two weeks in Red Deer, according to the RCMP’s online crime map.
Victims and Survivors of Crime Week began Sunday, the Government of Alberta stated in a press release.
Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Kaycee Madu said the government is committed to “doing everything we can to protect Albertans, keep our communities safe and stop people from being victimized.”
“But, we know anyone can be a victim of crime. When this happens, we need to have a justice system that stands by victims every step of the way,” said Madu.
“We are currently working to improve the system to make sure victims have access to the support they need the most. We’ve listened to victims who have told us that there are gaps in the services and supports currently available for victims of crime. We are doing everything we can to address these gaps so victims don’t fall through the cracks.”