Inglewood residents express frustration over drug activity

Some Inglewood residents voiced frustration at a public meeting on Wednesday night about the police’s inability to shut down a suspected drug house near a recent murder scene in their neighbourhood.

RCMP Insp. George Stephenson

Some Inglewood residents voiced frustration at a public meeting on Wednesday night about the police’s inability to shut down a suspected drug house near a recent murder scene in their neighbourhood.

If more evidence is needed, one young man said, “What if I walked up to the front door (of the house) and bought some drugs, with an officer watching?”

The comment drew laughs from the crowd of about 100 residents and city representatives — as well as a diverting explanation from Red Deer RCMP Supt. Brian Simpson.

He replied that police officers are often just as frustrated as residents about having to operate within narrow legal parameters — but they can’t gather evidence in the way suggested.

“I’d have to make you an agent first… and then make plans to move your family to another part of the country.” Simpson assured those attending a public meeting at the Red Deer Lodge that a residence in the area is of interest to police, and “we are using every tool in the tool box” to reduce crime.

But he stressed that police officers can only do their jobs effectively if people report all suspicious activities in their neighbourhoods.

Resident Allen MacGillivray said he was disturbed to discover he was the only person to call 911, despite other people being closer to the scene of an early morning April 5 shooting that claimed the life of 29-year-old Brandon Neil Prevey.

The victim was known to have gang ties, but Simpson told the crowd that Prevey could have been shot anywhere in the city. Police believe the unknown killer found a chance to target Prevey while the victim was sitting in a parked vehicle in Inglewood.

Turning a blind eye to crime, whether bystanders are too scared or indifferent, will eventually endanger children and other innocents, said MacGillivray. “We have to look at ourselves… a lot of it is up to us.”

This message was repeated by a representative from Neighbourhood Watch, who urged Inglewood residents to sign up for the program that keeps track of who lives in neighbourhoods. Residents also heard about the importance of clearing sightlines and improving lighting to prevent crime.

Inglewood residents complained of an alarming number of property crimes — Tiffany Lichti said her truck was stolen from in front of her house last summer and welding equipment taken from her garage. As as result, she’s afraid when her husband is away. The couple say this is one reason they are planning to move to an acreage.

Simpson said theft and property crimes are usually strongly linked to illegal drug activity within an area — but he stressed that none of this is unique to Inglewood.

“Keeping track of license plates goes a long way,” said Simpson, who cautioned, “you don’t have to be aggressive.” Simply saying “hi” ensures strangers know they are being noticed. “It’s a real friendly Canadian act, and it work really well because it creates accountability.”

Several residents praised police efforts, including former city policing commission chair Phil Hyde, who also urged people talk to local politicians about changing the law to allow the RCMP more options in solving crime.

Simpson and city councillor Gail Parks were both pleased with the turnout, which included several residents from different neighbourhoods.

Crime and drugs are problems everywhere, said Parks, who added people need to take back their streets. “It’s light and voices that drive (criminals) away.”

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

UPDATED: Officials tour Hwy 2/Gaetz Avenue interchange

Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman and local MLAs visit construction site

Bike thefts becoming ‘significant problem’ in Red Deer

Residents are sounding the alarm on the growing problem of bike theft… Continue reading

Red Deer approves 10 cannabis retail stores

Locations approved around the city

One trillion litres of sewage leaked into lakes and rivers over last five years

OTTAWA — Last Wednesday, a team of people from the Lake Ontario… Continue reading

Woman bitten at Red Deer dog park

Dog owners reminded to control their pets

WATCH: A horse was neglected by its owner. Now the horse is suing

ESTACADA, Ore. - Justice is an 8-year-old American quarter horse who used… Continue reading

Red Sox old-timer’s memorabilia going up for sale

BIDDEFORD, Maine — Some items belonging to one of the Boston Red… Continue reading

Rival Korea leaders to meet in Pyongyang in September

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — The rival Koreas announced Monday that North… Continue reading

Charlottesville anniversary: Peaceful protests, few arrests

WASHINGTON — Thousands of people wanting to send a message that racism… Continue reading

‘I believe music heals people’: 12-year-old records tribute for shooting victims

YARMOUTH, N.S. — Twelve-year-old Josh Cochrane of Yarmouth, N.S., watched the news… Continue reading

Fallen officers’ families gather with Justin Trudeau after tragedy

The prime minister laid flowers at the growing memorial to the four victims of Friday’s violence

Fallen officers’ families gather with prime minister after tragedy

FREDERICTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with families of fallen Fredericton… Continue reading

Liberals showcase benefits of billions spent on infrastructure projects

OTTAWA — Little more than a year before the next federal election,… Continue reading

Fredericton parade ‘a way to celebrate even in the midst of this grief’: mayor

FREDERICTON — Two days after four people were gunned down in a… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month