WHEREAS property crimes in rural Alberta are causing severe emotional and economic damages to rural residents and businesses; and
WHEREAS police response times to rural property crimes may be one hour or longer, resulting in many property crimes remaining unsolved; and
WHEREAS several rural municipalities and rural crime watch organizations have successfully piloted or are currently using smartphone applications, mapping vehicle GPS tracking, and other technological solutions to enhance public vigilance of criminal activity and better protect rural residents and businesses; and
WHEREAS the companies responsible for this technology are in the process of developing additional tools (such as dashcam apps) to further reduce rural property crime rates; and
WHEREAS those municipalities and organizations that have embraced the use of technology to reduce incidences of rural crime have generally reported positive results; and
WHEREAS providing municipalities and organizations across the province with an opportunity to learn about and pilot such technology is an effective non-police approach to supporting safer rural communities;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) request the Government of Alberta to fund 100% of the cost of 10 pilot projects involving rural municipalities and the providers of various rural crime reduction app software options; and
FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that upon the successful completion of the 10 pilot projects, RMA request the Government of Alberta to fund 75% of the overall costs of the solution that was most successful in the pilot project for all RMA members for five years.
Rural crime has been a major concern to rural residents and businesses. The slowdown in oil and gas industry and the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in increasing rates of rural property crime.
Due to the limited number of RCMP detachments and the vast land area serviced by each RCMP detachment, many thieves are not caught.
Many Alberta rural municipalities have tried various crime reduction solutions with limited success. Some attempted solutions include:
Most of the property crimes involve the use of vehicles. Vehicle thefts are on the rise. Many thieves know how to disable or uninstall vehicle GPS tracking devices.
Lamont County has implemented mapping, vehicle GPS tracking, agricultural applications, public works applications, planning applications, timesheet applications and community peace officer applications and has achieved significant productivity gains and improved services to the residents and businesses in Lamont County.
RMA has no active resolutions directly related to this issue.