In a one month span the Alix hotel was robbed – twice – an employee at a gas station was injured during a robbery, RCMP fatally shot a suspected thief and a man was attacked with a machete during a home invasion and Alix’s mayor wants the crime surge in his community to stop.
On Nov. 27 Alix Mayor Rob Fehr spoke with MLA’s at the Legislature in Edmonton after their afternoon session about his concerns with rising crime in Alix.
“Alberta is battling an increase in drug related offences and property crime,” said Mayor Fehr. “I told our MLA and his colleagues my concerns and wish to have more crime prevention strategies to assist our local RCMP detachment.
“Our citizens deserve better than what the feds and the province offer,” he said in an interview with the Review Dec. 21. “We are in different times now.”
Alberta’s United Conservative Party (UCP) Official Opposition Leader Jason Nixon called for an emergency debate in the legislature Nov. 27 to address the skyrocketing crime rates in rural Alberta that he said has “left thousands of families in our rural communities feeling afraid and abandoned by the NDP, which has done nothing to address what has turned into a full blown crisis.”
NDP Acting Justice Minister Marlin Schmidt, however, reacted saying the current government is doing enough by making sure there are adequate police and court resources to deal with the issues.
Mayor Fehr praised the Bashaw RCMP, which covers Alix and area but is about 20 minutes away. He said he met with the RCMP on Dec. 12 and Alix is working with the detachment on crime prevention strategies and engaging business owners and residents in communities across the detachment area.
“The Bashaw RCMP and Sgt. Holiday are doing a fantastic job considering the resources they have and what they’re up against.”
Bashaw RCMP S/Sgt. Bruce Holliday, in an interview with the Review on Dec. 22, said the investigations into the incidents in Alix are ongoing but said he couldn’t expand on details in order to maintain the integrity of their investigation.
“It’s difficult for me to comment on any specifics only that we are continuing to work and we have a number of avenues available to us in relation to these investigations.”
Mayor Fehr said residents can help police by joining Rural Crime Watch, adding that “RCMP are supporters of that group.”
Sgt. Holliday said, “Bashaw RCMP would like to remind community members that crime prevention is a shared responsibility. Members of the community are reminded of their role in preventing criminal activity.”
He said actions residents can take to help prevent crime include: lock up houses, sheds, vehicles and any other property that is easily accessible; never leave running vehicles unlocked because nearly half of the vehicle thefts in Alberta over the past year have had the keys left inside; take photos and record serial numbers of property; and if you see or suspect suspicious activity notify police immediately.