Rural theft is not new. Acreage and farm owners and rural businesses have been plagued by rural crime for decades. Remote areas are harder to police, harder still to protect. What is new is the growing sense of frustration that little can be done to protect rural property and that if items are stolen, there is little hope of recovery.
“Rural crime is a concern for many of my constituents. The topic consistently comes up at town hall meetings and in individual conversations no matter where I am in the riding,” says MP Arnold Viersen.
Fellow Conservative MPs from Alberta share MP Viersen’s concerns. Their discussions led to the formation of a rural crime task force with the objective of submitting a report to federal and provincial governments prior to budget submission deadlines.
“The RCMP and crime watch associations are on board with the task force. What I need from the public is feedback,” says MP Viersen. “How were you affected by rural crime? Do you have suggestions for prevention, policing or prosecution?”
The public and interested stakeholders are encouraged to contact MP Viersen with their stories, experiences and recommendations. Correspondence can be mailed postage-free to: MP Arnold Viersen, Box 4458, Barrhead, AB, T7N 1A3 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“My hope is that the data we collect will not only bring the issue of rural crime to the attention of policy makers, but that the task force’s report will translate into solutions and financial resources,” says MP Viersen. “Rural theft and destruction are crimes and they shouldn’t be written off as unsolvable or unpreventable. We need to find a better way to protect rural landowners and their property.”