North Battleford community group targets crime
Gang unit and more officers needed for city, group says
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, 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.
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."