An effort to start a rural crime watch in the RM of Humboldt passed another hurdle as it recruited its first set of members.
Between 15 and 18 people signed up for Rural Crime Watch 370 after a public meeting at the Bella Vista Inn Nov. 7.
Dennis Lueke, the crime watch’s co-chair, said his group was formed to get more sets of eyes and ears in the countryside looking out for suspicious activity.
“The RCMP can be only be so many places at once, so we thought this was a good thing to start,” he said. “We don’t have a lot of crime, but we want to prevent it. The more people we get out now, the less chance we’re going to have of crime happening.”
Lueke said he’s been hit with minor crimes, like having batteries go missing and fuel siphoned from his machine.
“I cannot stress enough: reporting everything is essential,” said Cpl. Mel Zurevinsky, who’s been traveling around Saskatchewan to promote the creation of rural crime watches.
Zurevinsky, who was at the meeting to tell the audience what a rural crime watch could look like, said that with the small crimes reported, RCMP analysts could find patterns that could lead to arrests.
For those interested in joining the crime watch, they can contact Lueke or the other members of the organizing committee, which includes co-chair Wendy Ries, Jodie Hergott, Dean Hergott, Murray Freistadt, Matt Schidlowsky, Edward Anderson, Val Graf and Leon Lueke. Then, they have to receive a criminal record check, which is free for those wanting to join a rural crime watch. Then, there’s a $50 lifetime membership fee that will pay for a sign, as well as help fund correspondence, posters and public meetings.
Lueke said the next step is get the members past the criminal record checks.
“Once that is in place, our app will get started and people will just do their thing. If they see something suspicious, they enter it on to the app.”
Somebody from the RM of St. Peter was at the meeting to express interest in the rural crime watch. Lueke said expansion of the crime watch beyond the boundaries of the RM of Humboldt is something they’ll consider.
“If St. Peter decides to come on board with us, they’re more than welcome,” he said. “The same with any other neighbouring RMs if they want to join. If they want to start their own we’ll help them start their own because people will travel through the RMs from one to the other. They’re not just going to stop here and do crime, they’ll be all over.”