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North Battleford community safety officers given broader investigational powers

Seeking solutions to combat crime

North Battleford has a population of about 14,000.

(SASKATOON, SASK,: AUGUST 2, 2013 – File photos of 101st., downtown North Battleford Saskatchewan for story on crime in its city, August 2, 2013. (Gord Waldner/ The StarPhoenix)
Gord Waldner, The StarPhoenix
Gord Waldner / The StarPhoenix

North Battleford’s Community Safety Officers now have the power to investigate some “low risk” crimes and motor vehicle collisions where no one is injured in an effort to free up RCMP resources to focus on “much more serious” investigations and crimes in progress.

The City of North Battleford, the RCMP and the province made the announcement on Thursday about the changes that came into effect on June 1.

The CSOs are now able to investigate certain Criminal Code offences that aren’t in progress, such as theft under $5,000 or vandalism. They will also be able to investigate certain motor vehicle collisions that are reportable and occur within North Battleford city limits.

The program, which has seven officers, was launched in 2014. The CSOs already had the power to do much of the city’s bylaw enforcement.

“This is an integral part of the Community Safety Strategy that was initiated by the City in early 2014 as the City has the dubious distinction of being ranked #1 on the Crime Severity Index of communities in Canada with populations over 10,000 residents. We believed, and still believe, that a new innovative approach was required,” said Mayor Ryan Bater in a statement.

RCMP assistant commissioner Curtis Zablocki says that by expanding the CSO’s authority to take on some “lower-level” investigations, the RCMP will be able to target “more serious criminal activity.”

 

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