BLACKFALDS, AB. – Local MP Bob Zimmer and Blaine Calkins, MP for Red Deer – Lacombe, co-hosted a virtual panel discussion surrounding rural crime in Alberta and Northern B.C. Thursday evening.

The virtual panel included various panelists, including representatives from the RCMP’s E Division North and K Division, president of the Alberta Provincial Rural Crime Watch Association, an Investigation and Risk Management Specialist, and a victim of rural crime.

“Crime has affected far too many in our community. Instead of this Liberal government focusing on the ones perpetuating the crime, they have chosen to focus resources on law-abiding firearms owners and reducing consequences for serious crimes. We need a government that will tackle rural crime straight on,” said Zimmer.

The panelists discussed how measures to address rural crime have been progressing, the current trends, and how the COVID-19 pandemic and associated health orders have impacted rural crime in communities. Other topics included concerns over habitual offenders, crime prevention, civil society’s role in addressing rural crime, and the inadequacies in the justice system.