LAC LA BICHE - It was a busy month for the Lac La Biche RCMP detachment in July, patrolling and responding to calls in the community.
A total of 602 calls ranging from property damage, traffic concerns, theft and disorderly conduct, were received, and officers were able to add to the overall community safety, said Const. Cassandra Calverley.
Of the hundreds of calls, officers issued 83 traffic tickets, which included seven impaired drivers, alongside dozens of warnings, said Calverley.
“It's not always tickets though, (in July) RCMP also issued 35 traffic warnings.”
Several of the calls the detachment received in July related to suspicious activity being reported by other residents.
There were “more than 65 reports from community members of people who were acting suspiciously, causing damage to property or preventing the enjoyment of the public,” she said. Community members calling and notifying the RCMP allows officers to mitigate concerns before they escalate, she added.
“Police being aware and responding of these behaviours is what helps us prevent offences that are more serious.”
Additionally, throughout the month, RCMP responded to 47 criminal actions, including “frauds, assaults and uttering threats,” and many of those are also reported initially by local residents calling police.
There were also “30 property crimes, which include thefts of vehicles, frauds, and break and enter,” in July, said Calverley.
Long weekend events
With the busy warm season that draws plenty of recreational activity in the region, this year’s Summer Days celebrations from July 29 to 31 included over 70 calls to police.
“Over the (Heritage Day) weekend, RCMP responded to 73 calls for service, which included three impaired driving investigations, three thefts of vehicles, and 10 people intoxicated in public.”
The additional activity is expected during the hallmark celebration, and officers prepare to routinely patrol the events, said Calverley.
“It was great to see the community back out and enjoying the great events our community has to offer and the RCMP officers were no exception to that. Officers were in attendance at most events and were regularly patrolling the midway grounds.”
During the three-day event, four assaults occurred, which included a bear spray incident that saw officers arrest two youth on July 30 on the McArthur Park grounds. Despite the events, enforcement was successful and attendees were able to enjoy themselves, said Calverley.
“When all was said and done though, the weekend was a success. People we spoke with were having a great time and RCMP officers enjoyed participating and getting to know our community.”
RCMP initiatives in August
Just over halfway through the month of August, the local detachment is hoping to get Lac La Biche residents on board for their monthly initiative. Every month, the RCMP focuses on a “crime prevention priority” to promote safe communities.
This month, vehicle thefts are on the agenda and the detachment is promoting vehicle owners to practice safety precautions, said Calverley.
“RCMP would like to remind community members to lock their vehicles when leaving them, and keep valuables out of sight. If possible, ensure you park in well-lit areas and within sight of security cameras.”