Crime prevention centre taps social media to respond to growing complaints about crime

Advocates for deterring and reducing crime are on high alert as the economy continues to tank.

Advocates for deterring and reducing crime are on high alert as the economy continues to tank.

Their weapon of choice?

Information.

TerryLee Ropchan, Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre executive director, said as soon as you hear about the economy and layoffs, immediately the first thing that comes to mind is that there will be repercussions felt throughout the community.

“Definitely it is on our radar,” said Ropchan. “We try to stay connected with some of the social media so the Facebook pages around stolen vehicles. We are monitoring. We are watching.”

One of the agency’s goals this year is to respond to some of the growing complaints about crimes or happenings in neighbourhoods on social media platforms.

She wants people to know they have some place to go.

“We have programs, resources and information,” said Ropchan. “We want to engage more with the social media crowd. People use social media to vent and find other people who are experiencing the same. But it has not translated to people who want to be part of Citizens on Patrol or join Neighbourhood Watch. Those are the things that we are offering to them so they realize they can make a difference.”

Crime prevention is more important than ever and is reflected in the work it is doing in the community with its graffiti program, SAFE program, presentations and other programs, she said.

“The solutions haven’t changed,” said Ropchan. “We’re hoping going out more and hoping people realize they have a role. Then we can give them our resources.”

This year the agency will mark Crime Prevention Month in May. It is usually one week in May. Ropchan said they wanted to expand the program to reach more people. On May 14, the agency will host Touch-a-Truck Day, as opposed to its annual fair, at Crossroads Church between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

She said it will offer the same resources as the fair but will have more of an event atmosphere for the entire family. There will be all kinds of trucks and equipment.

“It’s a community event,” she said. “We want people to come out and talk to eachother and get a little information about crime prevention.”

CACPC is currently seeking trucks and equipment for display during the family-friendly event.

For more information visit www.cacpc.ca

crhyno@www.reddeeradvocate.com

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