New provincial crime watch notification system launched in Saskatchewan

March 7, 2019
Regina, Saskatchewan

Statement

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RCMP crest

Saskatchewan residents located in the southern part of the province have a new way to get information about criminal activity in their area directly from the RCMP. RCMP detachment commanders will use the Saskatchewan Crime Watch Advisory Network to send text messages, emails or phone calls to residents. People can sign up and choose how they would like to get these advisories.

The Government of Saskatchewan is providing approximately $50,000 for the RCMP to initially launch this system in southern Saskatchewan. The RCMP will evaluate the effectiveness of the program and the possibility of using it across Saskatchewan.

"We know that people across our province want information to help keep their family and home safe," Corrections and Policing Minister Christine Tell said. "The Saskatchewan Crime Watch Advisory Network allows people to get reliable information right from the RCMP."

"When an RCMP detachment becomes aware of an incident or crime, they can issue an advisory via the system and local residents who have signed up for the program will become aware of what happened," Saskatchewan RCMP Commanding Officer Assistant Commissioner Mark Fisher said. "Equipped with this information, citizens will be in a better position to provide tips and information to their local RCMP."

"We want rural residents to feel safe in our communities," Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities President Ray Orb said. "With the reinvigoration of Rural Crime Watch Associations in the province and the addition of the Provincial Protection and Response Team, this mass notification system adds to the basket of tools and peace of mind for our members."

"By receiving advisories and reporting crimes or suspicious activities, residents can help foster resilient hometowns that actively prevent crime, enhancing public safety," Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association President Gordon Barnhart said.

Visit https://sarm.ca/, https://suma.org/ or https://member.everbridge.net/index/453003085619333#/login to sign up for the Saskatchewan Crime Watch Advisory Network.

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Statement from Saskatchewan RCMP

Crime is a concern for everyone. As the provincial police service, the Saskatchewan RCMP is continually looking for new and innovative ways to reduce crime. We work with our partners to evolve our policing strategies and adopt new ways of making our communities safer.

Without these partnerships, advancements such as the development of the Saskatchewan Crime Watch Advisory Network would not be possible. The Saskatchewan Government, SARM, SUMA and the FSIN have all been very supportive of this initiative. Together we are working towards a safer Saskatchewan.

We would like to highlight the support we have received from SARM as we have worked together to reinvigorate rural crime watch programs across the province. This has laid the ground work for the creation of the Saskatchewan Crime Watch Advisory Network.

We are certain that this real-time relay of information to citizens will assist in improving community safety.

This new network will allow Saskatchewan residents to receive credible, accurate and timely crime prevention information directly from their local RCMP detachment. When a detachment becomes aware of an incident or crime, they can issue an advisory via the system and local residents who have signed up for the program will become aware of what happened. Equipped with this information, citizens will be in a better position to provide tips and information to their local RCMP.

Signing up to be part of the network as a general member is free and only takes a few minutes. Members choose the manner in which they receive these advisories – by text message, phone call, email or through the mobile app.

The concept of the program is simple: sign up to receive advisories from your local RCMP and assist us by serving as the eyes and ears of your community. If you witness a crime in progress or have been the victim of a crime – it is imperative that you call the police to report it.

Citizens and police officers working collectively and being a part of this network sends a strong message to would-be offenders that the people of Saskatchewan care about building safer communities…

This network, along with existing crime prevention programs and strategies, helps to create an environment where all of us contribute to community safety. Crime prevention is the most effective when we all work together.

The pilot project will initially be launched in the southern part of the province. After a trial period, we will evaluate the effectiveness of the program and the possibility of using it across the rest of Saskatchewan. While only those who have signed up to receive notifications from RCMP detachments in southern Saskatchewan will receive advisories initially, we encourage everyone to sign up in anticipation of an expansion.

We all play a role in keeping our communities safe. This network is one more step in the right direction.

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