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DAWSON CREEK, B.C. — A vigilante group spoke to council during Monday’s meeting about the rise in crime in Dawson Creek. 

Headed by Doug Scott, “Citizens take Action” wrote and presented a letter to council outlining their experience with rising thefts and what the group had been doing to combat that. These experiences were mainly linked to vehicle theft and de-escalating other crimes. 

The letter also included a critique of the lack of response from the local RCMP. The group said they “have lost confidence in our local RCMP detachment’s ability to address the acute rise in crime.” 

The group said they want to work with the local RCMP to tackle this crime rise but feel the RCMP “lacks empathy” for the group. The letter included four specific recounted scenarios involving the group and local RCMP. 

Scott requested the RCMP “report to me on these specific cases and provide file numbers and any updates.”

After reading the letter, the group gave the council a substantial list of requests. They requested the council write a letter to local MLAs on behalf of the citizens of Dawson Creek about the matter, as well as host a meeting for business owners to discuss the issue. 

The group also requested the council consider putting more funding towards the Dawson Creek RCMP, saying they thought the local RCMP lacked resources. They suggested funding be removed from the local firefighters to help fund the RCMP.  

“It seems the status quo is no longer working,” said Scott.

The group also suggested the council consider removing the RCMP and replacing them with either a municipal or provincial police force.

Discussion on the delegation was done after the council heard a report from the RCMP, though councillor Charlie Parslow did comment on the rise of crime. 

“It does disturb me,” Parslow said. “I think it disturbs everyone.” 

According to the RCMP report, vehicle theft is up 54 per cent from 2021, theft from vehicles is up by 33 per cent, break and entering to a business is up 138 per cent, and theft (including shoplifting) is up 42 per cent. 

The council discussed the requests from the delegation at length.

Chief administrative officer (CAO) of Dawson Creek, Blair Lekstrom, told council that the matter was more political than administrative. 

The council did not believe that the Dawson Creek RCMP lacked resources, and according to the RCMP report, the Dawson Creek RCMP employs 22 officers. Lekstrom said this amount was the most he had ever seen in the community. 

At the end of the discussion, council motioned for the CAO and mayor Darcy Dober to draft a letter in response to the group. The motion was carried. 

EnergeticCity.ca reached out to the Dawson Creek RCMP for comment, but no detachment member was available after multiple requests.

The letter presented to council can be viewed below:

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Katherine Caddel is a recent graduate of Laurentian University's English Media and Rhetoric program. They grew up in Northern Ontario and recently decided to make the North Peace their new home. When not at work, Katherine enjoys horror movies, playing video games and Dungeons and Dragons.