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A North Battleford group hopes to have a new crime-fighting strategy in place in September.
It’s modelled on a successful, holistic approach to crime undertaken over the past couple of years in Prince Albert.
A steering committee provides overall direction and works out a long-term strategy.
A core committee, featuring representatives of police, Social Services, Education, and other agencies meets twice a week to solve problems that could lead to crime – issues that need to be handled within a 24 to 48-hour period.
The group met Tuesday and made some decisions. They agreed to call the overall steering committee the North Battleford Community Action Plan, and they’ve chosen a chair for that committee – Light of Christ School Division Director of Education Herb Sutton.
Currently, the core committee is called the Hub, just like it is in Prince Albert. That may change over time. The chair for that committee is North Battleford City Manager Jim Toye.
Plans call for the Hub to hold an orientation meeting Sept. 4. Then, later in the month, they’ll go up to Prince Albert for a three or four-day immersion session where they’ll learn exactly how the P.A. Hub works.
It's hoped the North Battleford Hub can begin around that time – maybe earlier, maybe later.
RCMP Corporal Gertrude Maxwell has been co-ordinating meetings for the group. She says the idea behind attending the “immersion” in Prince Albert is to come back with a good idea of how agencies can work together to cut crime.
"Everyone will come back with tools and some clear ideas of, ok, what is an intervention, or what is support to our community people who need help, what are the perameters of what you can or can’t do, and what is the power of all these multi agencies working together that can do so many things,” Maxwell said during an interview with the Daily News.
She says the orientation meeting is a great start for the Hub committee.
"The purpose of this meeting really is for everyone just to get together, see who’s at the table, who they represent, what’s peoples’ understanding is of what we’re going to do. So it’s a really great and exciting beginning,” Maxwell says.
Maxwell notes the first meeting to come up with the strategy was held back in March. She’s pleased with the group’s progress and says government and community support is making it happen.
She notes Premier Brad Wall has indicated support for the concept.
"It’s really nice to see the blend of community mobilization, grass roots action, and the government come together to make the community a healthier, safer place,” Maxwell says. “It will happen, and it is happening, and it is exciting, to say the least.”
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