File photo by ADVOCATE staff Sgt. Bruce Holliday, from the Bashaw RCMP, says depending on where officers are located when a call comes in, it could take almost an hour to reach a destination within the detachment’s jurisdiction.

SPECIAL REPORT, Part 2: Policing rural areas is tough

Far distances can cause problems for rural police

Times have changed for people who live in rural areas, says Sgt. Bruce Holliday of the Bashaw RCMP detachment.

“Our good, rural folks for decades, have left keys in vehicles, left their shops unlocked and relied on the good nature of people to not steal the items they’ve worked hard for.

“Unfortunately in 2019, criminals are aware of this and come out into the rural areas and prey on good rural, trusting folks,” he said.

The Bashaw detachment stretches as far north as New Norway, below Highway 11 to the south, west to Tees Road and east past Donalda.

Holliday said depending on where officers are located when a call comes in, it could take almost an hour to reach a destination within the detachment’s jurisdiction.

“There can be significant travel time, and then when you throw in weather and other factors that would impede our travel, response time would be affected,” he said.

If a rural resident is home when someone tries to break into their house, they should immediately call 911, said Holliday.

“That is a priority call for us,” he said. “Then they need to do anything they can to safeguard themselves in their residence. Lock doors, turn lights on.

“You may shout to an individual that the police have been called – anything to let that person know the police are on their way.”

Rural residents need to help officers by protecting themselves when possible, he added.

“People are very interested in working with rural crime watch groups, and the RCMP, and are changing their thoughts and perspectives on safeguarding the property.

“Part of the solution is securing your property, looking out for each other and reporting suspicious activity to the RCMP. If we don’t know about it, we can’t do anything.”

Holliday says the Bashaw detachment has seen an increase in reports of suspicious activities or suspicious vehicles.

“It’s extremely satisfying to see people work with us in efforts to address rural crime,” he said.

“We have a fantastic relationship with our rural crime watches and all of our rural crime folks that are interested in working with the RCMP by looking out for their neighbours and family.”



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

HIGH LEVEL, Alta. — Crews battling an enormous wildfire just outside the… Continue reading

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

OTTAWA — While most Canadians firmly back the Charter of Rights and… Continue reading

Red Deer stamp-collecting event a hit, local club expected to start in fall

Postage stamp-loving Red Deerians can expect to have a place to gather… Continue reading

Red Deer woman one of three arrested by Sundre RCMP

The 19-year-old had numerous arrest warrants out of various jurisdictions

Businessman and volunteer named 2019 Citizen of the Year

John Donald’s parents and sister were each honoured previously

WATCH: Sunnybrook Farm Museum in Red Deer welcomes spring

Sunnybrook Farm Museum is celebrating spring in Red Deer. On Saturday, the… Continue reading

Cast your votes for the Best of Red Deer

Nominations for the Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are officially… Continue reading

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

OTTAWA — The federal Liberals have laid out their proposal for rules… Continue reading

Trump’s trophy day of sumo, golf and cheeseburgers in Japan

TOKYO — President Donald Trump presented a special U.S.-made trophy to the… Continue reading

Two dead, one seriously injured, following explosion in Calgary home’s garage

CALGARY — Police in Calgary say they believe a house fire where… Continue reading

Raptors fans spill onto the streets ahead of potentially historic game

Cars honked, exhilarated fans chanted and long lines formed outside bars and… Continue reading

Stan Lee’s former manager arrested on elder abuse charges

LOS ANGELES — A former business manager of Stan Lee has been… Continue reading

BCUC sets out process for gas and diesel price inquiry, set to wrap Aug. 30

VANCOUVER — The British Columbia Utilities Commission says it has set out… Continue reading

Most Read