RCMP expands crime watch advisory network province-wide due to popular demand

EAST CENTRAL — Due to popular demand, the Saskatchewan RCMP has expanded its crime watch advisory network to cover the entire province.

The network was launched on a trial basis in the southern parts of the province in early March. When citizens sign up, they’ll receive alerts about criminal activity in their area. If they have any information, they can then contact the RCMP.

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“The plan wasn’t to expand this quickly," said Mark Fisher, the Saskatchewan RCMP’s commanding officer. “The initial plan was to wait further and do an evaluation phase and what happened was a couple of things.”

The first was the RCMP saw early success. An ATV was stolen from a business in the Milestone detachment area. An alert was sent, and local police were able to use a tip that allowed them to continue the investigation and charge someone for the crime.

There was also a case where somebody thought there was a prowler by a citizen. The person that was thought to be the prowler had signed up for the alert and received it. He then informed RCMP he was a service technician with a reason to be at the site, meaning the RCMP didn’t have to devote as much resources to the report.

The other reason RCMP decided to expand was the fact that many of the 5,400 people signing up for alerts from the network were in central and northern Saskatchewan.

Fisher said the network would be used in cases where there’s a piece of information the public can quickly act upon, like a good description of a suspect of a piece of stolen property. The network will not be used to give reports of every police call, nor will be used for Amber alerts, which uses a separate system.

Citizens can sign up for the alerts at saskcrimewatch.ca.

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