Provincial crime reduction report due in 2 weeks

The province says it will publicly release a report on crime within the next two weeks.

Committee offers recommendations on how to tackle rising rural property crime rate, opioid crisis

A committee report on crime reduction in Saskatchewan due to be made public in two weeks is expected to contain recommendations to deal with rising property crime rates in rural areas and the spread of opioids. (Mike Zartler/CBC)

The Saskatchewan government will make public a report containing recommendations on how to reduce crime rates in the province within the next two weeks, according to a senior government official. 

In an email to CBC News on Friday, Kathy Young said the report — prepared by a committee of Saskatchewan Party MLAs tasked with consulting municipalities, police departments and other organizations about what can be done — is ready and has been presented to the justice minister. 

She said an announcement on the matter will be coming in the "near future."

"It's been a long time coming," said interim NDP leader Nicole Sarauer, adding she's requested a copy of the report. 

Sarauer criticized the length of time it's taken for the committee to complete the document, saying crime is a major concern to communities across the province. 

Focus on rural property crimes

Formally called the Caucus Committee on Crime Reduction, the seven-person group was struck in November 2016 comprising both urban and rural elected officials. 

According to a government news release, it was formed to address issues such as the rise in property crimes in rural areas, the spread of deadly and addictive opioids as well as gun- and gang-related crimes. 

Cliff Chutskoff, who owns a permanent lake home in a regional park north of Prince Albert, says he's been a victim of property crime, as have many other property owners in the subdivision. 

'Terrifying experience'

"We're reluctant to go on vacation because we're fearful of what might happen to our property," he told CBC News.

He said one night last October, he and his wife were awakened by two people attempting to break into their home. 

"It was a terrifying experience," he said.

"I don't think there's many neighbourhoods in Saskatchewan that if the residents had that kind of experience that there wouldn't be immediate action."

Sarauer said she wants to see the report's recommendations contain proactive measures, including anti-gang strategies.