RM of St. Peter residents forming rural crime watch

RM of ST. PETER — Citizens of the RM of St. Peter are banding together to form a rural crime watch.

On May 1, a meeting was held in Annaheim to discuss how such an organization could be created. Cpl. Mel Zurevinsky, who’s been travelling around Saskatchewan to promote the creation of rural crime watches, was there to give advice on how to start.

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“We talked about initiating a crime watch association in our area,” said Loriann Wuchner, who convened the meeting. “Everybody thought it was a really good idea, so we picked our executive.”

There were seven people recruited to the executive of the newly formed Rural Crime Watch 369, with one member in each of five of the RM’s six zones.

Wuchner decided to act because she’s concerned about crime.

“Especially in the last couple of years, there's been a dramatic increase of crime in our RM,” she said.

A major inspiration was the creation of a crime watch in the RM of Humboldt, Rural Crime Watch 370. Wuchner attended that crime watch’s first public meeting in November 2018.

“It seemed like a really good, fairly simple idea that that had already been making a difference, so I thought I'd bring it over to our RM,” she said. “Hopefully, it'll make a difference here.”

After contacting to Rural Crime Watch 370 to gather advice about how to get started, Wuchner talked to Cst. Geoff Applegate of the Humboldt RCMP, who then connected her with Zurevinsky.

Rural Crime Watch 369 is now working on developing a WhatsApp group, which will require a criminal record check and approval from the watch’s executive before anybody can join. In the group, RM of St. Peter residents will be able to share any suspicious people or activity with each other and the police.

“It will hopefully deter crime because everybody will have their eyes open and peeled to observe what's going on in their areas, and then take pictures and report to their local RCMP any kind of suspicious activity that's happening in our area,” Wuchner said.

The watch’s executive is planning to meet this week to determine how to move forward. They are also working on an application form for new members.

Meanwhile, those interested in getting involved with the crime watch can join the Rural Crime Watch 369 group on Facebook.

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