Jonathan Writes for Beef in B.C.

Dear Cattlemen:

You are observant, out and about frequently and a concerned community supporter. You want to see the elimination of crime in your area with the bad guys being put away.

Rural Crime Watch is a crime prevention program tailor made for cattlemen. Statistics from Alberta and other B.C. communities prove its success.

Think of RCW blanketing your community’s detachment’s entire area with every rancher, home owner, resort owner and seasonal resident participating, then where there are population pockets, cranking up crime prevention with additional involvement of Citizen on Patrol C.O.P. patrols. This is what is happening in the Cariboo’s Deka Lake, Sheridan Lake, 100 Mile House and Hawkins Lake, Merrit, Kamloops, Barrier, Clearwater and Clinton. You don’t have to be a COP member to belong to Rural Crime Watch.

The program’s success is member’s observant and supportive nature and a computer fan out system housed in the detachment. The computer houses member’s confidential phone numbers. When a crime occurs, the investigating member records a message, then the computer sends it out. The computer will leave a message on your answering machine. Then instead of two or three members looking for their suspect they have an additional 400 pairs of eyes assisting or, in the case of one Alberta community, 3,000.

You and others like you are the additional eyes and ears of law enforcement. If you are out and about and notice an unfamiliar vehicle, you complete the Rural Crime Watch Patrol card. You leave the top portion on the vehicle’s windshield which states that the vehicle has been noted by a RCW person and you drop the other part off at the detachment. The members will file the card and use it in the event there is an incident in the area thereby giving them their first, and usually successful lead.

Too often cattlemen think they can handle crime prevention alone, but this is not possible in today’s social climate. We need to work together as a community to send the message to the bad guys that coming to your community will ensure being caught.

If you are interested in organizing a Rural Crime Watch program in your community, contact the RCMP’s Livestock Division Corporal Paul Robinson at 250-828-3168. If you have any questions about how easy the organizing is, contact me at 250-395-3516

After you have your program operating, participation is as simple as completing a criminal records check available from your detachment. Once approved, you will be provide you with a gate sign, home/vehicle sticker, membership card and several vehicle ID cards.

I encourage you to become part of this incredibly successful crime prevention program and make your community a place criminals want to avoid.

McCormick is a Lone Butte rancher/ trapper. He is president of the South Cariboo Rural Crime Watch Association, a combat self-defensive instructor and former law enforcement defensive tactics instructor who has written extensively about personal safety.