Like many of his Alberta caucus colleagues, Earl Dreeshen is spending the winter legislature recess talking crime.
The Conservative MP for Red Deer-Mountain View has his first rural crime town hall meeting set for Saturday in Innisfail.
Though this is the first time he will hold a meeting like this, he attended a similar one in Caroline a few weeks ago, which is in the Yellowhead riding, held by Jim Eglinski.
“We had the RCMP there talking about crime statistics, but also how they’re trying to co-ordinate within different detachments,” said Dreeshen. “That’s important because criminals are quite mobile.
“A lot of the concerns in Red Deer over the years have been with businesses that have seen a rampant increase in crime where people are smashing stolen vehicles into their doors.”
Dreeshen said they are bringing in municipal leaders, members of the provincial opposition party who are also trying to find out more about the issue of rural crime, members of the RCMP and the public.
“Bringing all of these voices together is the main thing,” said Dreeshen. “Our objective is to bring these voices together to come up with solutions and be able to present that to our federal counterparts.
“The more discussions you have, you’re going to be able to find solutions that are being used in different parts of the country. If nothing else, the extra effort many Albertans are putting into this may help other regions, too.”
Dreeshen said much of the frustration he’s found comes from when police catch a person, only to have them released and out on the streets again.
“The police take them (alleged criminals) where they’re supposed to go, and the judicial system deals with them accordingly,” said Dreeshen.
“In many situations, its drug related issues, but I think that over-simplifies it.”
The meeting will focus on four areas of concern: crime prevention, crime investigation, prosecution, and punishment.
The meeting will be held at the Innisfail Legion’s banquet room, 5108 49th Ave., Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m.