North Battleford community group targets crime

A North Battleford community group is concerned with growing gang crime in the city.

Gang unit and more officers needed for city, group says

Scenes like this are happening too frequently for a North Battleford community group. (CBC)

A North Battleford community group is concerned with gang crime in the city. 

It organized a public meeting last month and also sponsors a Facebook page, "North Battleford Victims of Crime."

Guy Turcotte (CBC)

Guy Turcotte, one of the organizers, said more law enforcement is needed in the city.

"We need more RCMP officers. We need a gang task force. Let's get some of the hardcore drugs out of here," Turcotte said.

We have to do something with the drugs.- Guy Turcotte

"We have to get, do something with the gangs. We have to do something with the drugs."

Overall crime in North Battleford is up this year compared with 2012, according to RCMP statistics. But it's only up slightly and remains down compared to 2010 and 2011 numbers.

But Mayor Ian Hamilton said the types of crime are unsettling. The community has seen stabbings, drive-by shootings and one gang-related homicide.

Gangs are a concern

Hamilton said the city is taking action. Two years ago, it partnered with the province to get five more police officers on the streets. It also supports private initiatives, like bringing a drop-in youth centre to the city.

Ian Hamilton (CBC)

However, gangs are a concern.

"This is something that is being imported to our streets, so it concerns us. Absolutely," Hamilton said. "Any gang, yeah, I think it's serious."

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.