Citizens Mobilize Against Surge in Wetaskiwin’s Social Disorder and Crime Rates


The town of Wetaskiwin has seen its residents come forward in significant numbers, voicing distress over what they perceive as rising “social disorder” within their neighborhoods.

Nearly 500 concerned citizens gathered at the Wetaskiwin Memorial Arts Centre for a town hall meeting hosted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). “Considering the turnout, it’s clear that our community is deeply committed to addressing these concerns,” observed Insp. John Spanns from the Wetaskiwin Camrose RCMP, highlighting the residents’ eagerness to be part of the solution.

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The assembly was spurred by mounting anxieties over escalating drug use and crime rate in the city. As per the Canada Crime Severity Index, a disquieting increase in the city’s crime scene was confirmed with a surge by 41% in violent crimes last year, alongside a 10% rise in non-violent crime.

A local business owner participating in the meeting shared her growing concerns about the continual descent into disarray in the downtown area. “Our employees are scared. We’ve been forced to revise our lobby hours, now shutting at nine in the evening. We’ve invested heavily in video surveillance, which has become a resource for the police investigating incidents in the vicinity,” she stated.

In this engagement with the residents, Inspector Spanns entertained questions and received communal feedback, with drugs, crime, and homelessness dominating the conversation. A number of participants flagged their concerns revolving around the local Hope Mission and the behavior of some of its clients.

Without any comment from Hope Mission on the matter, Inspector Spanns informed the gathering about the RCMP’s strategic plan in formulating activities aimed at tackling the highlighted issues. He emphasized the need for cooperative action in resolving such intricate problems and stated, “it’s important for the public to understand that these are not exclusively policing-centric issues, it requires collective community effort to address them.”

Present at the meeting was Rick Wilson, the region’s Member of the Legislative Assembly. He iterated the UCP’s strategy, stressing a balanced approach of compassionate execution while getting tough on crime control. “Expect new legislation this fall. It will be polarizing, some will favor it, others won’t. But it will enable us to intervene and provide assistance when individuals pose harm to themselves or others,” Wilson assured.