June 24th, 2019
 | Calgary, Alberta

Local News

Cochrane Eagle

Phone: 932-6588
Link: http://www.cochraneeagle.com/


Cochrane Times

Phone: 403-932-3500
Link: http://www.cochranetimes.com/


Rocky View Weekly

Phone: 403-948-1885
Link: http://www.rockyviewweekly.com/


Springbank Park Patter

c/o www.springbankpark.com
Phone: 403-242-2223


High Country News

Box 476, Bragg Creek, Ab, T0L 0K0
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Phone: 403-949-3526


Rural Crime Watch

Rural Crime Watch sign small 2017 11


Rural Crime Watch Update June, 2019

Becoming a Crime Resistant Community


Susanna Moodie’s book Frontier Life in Canada recounts the experiences of immigrating in 1832 to rural Canada from Scotland. The adjustments were monumental. The physical parts were clearing land, erecting buildings and attempting to make a farm living. The sociological parts of loneliness, insecurity, adventure were tempered dramatically by the mutual support of neighbours. Every stranger was regarded with curiosity and seeking out common interests. Snake oil, shady deals, broken promises and violencewere not tolerated by community standards.   If the stranger intended to ‘take’, news of that persons reputation raced through the community –even before there were telephones.


Springbank is a history of immigrants. Some of us came recently and some a generation or more ago. As residents we form the community culture by the way we deal with each other - and with strangers. Strangers are welcomed, and checked out by each person that encounters them. Experiences are shared with neighbours. Fast forward to today. We have the opportunities and challenges of rural culture. Rural crime is the current threat to our peaceful community. Intruders look for ‘opportunities to take’. We cannot change the intruders and their multiple motivations to steal. We do not want walls and armed guards at our residence. We live where we live. We rely on rural values of integrity, reliability and helping out neighbours.  We rely on our own devices and each other for security from intruders. And we have access to police to investigate and arrest people who intrude. And as we are rural, we balance our appreciation of space, quiet and privacy for the need to work together in deterring crime.


Do reports of suspicious activity really make a difference? I checked a sample of Alberta Police Reports and concluded that the offenders of most concern are on a spree or have organized tactics and targets. In most of those reports, an intrusion is followed by reports from the public of thefts in a nearby area, and finally an arrest. The reports of similar time, area, and vehicle /person description are matched giving the police a pattern, location and identity. My hunch is most arrests come from several prompt tips from the public. We need to be aware, record details and report promptly, whether at our residence or while rural driving. This small effort benefits the security of our neighbours, many of whom we will never meet. We can be part of developing a rural culture where everyone reports suspicious activity. And would-be intruders will come to believe that these rural people are informed, prepared and organized. BEWARE!


A recent local example of community action to deter crime


At 4am, multiple cars that were left unlocked and parked on the road were rummaged through and small items stolen. Also taken were credit cards that were left in a wallet in one of the vehicles. A small trailer was also stolen from an unfenced property. At 6am residents realized what had occurred and immediately took to the community's private social media page to share information with their neighbours. The RCMP was contacted by many residents reporting security camera footage, lost property, etc.  Residents were encouraged to report any and all suspicious details to the RCMP right away. It was determined very quickly through the sharing of information, that the community had been victimized by an organized group driving two separate vehicles.  


On the next day, a reminder notice was sent out on the community's social media page to encourage residents to do the ‘planned 9pm lock down routine’ and to stay vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour. At around 3am the following morning, the same two vehicles arrived and a person was seen walking between properties. The witness called the RCMP right away with an accurate description of both the person and vehicles. The RCMP responded promptly. The next morning this new information was shared on the community's social media page. Again residents reported and shared video surveillance with the RCMP and with each other. No one was a victim thanks to the lock down routine, a strong communication sharing plan and the vigilance of residents. In the face of adversity the community showed great cohesion, and is safer because residents have a strong desire and a plan to look out for one another. By promptly reporting to the RCMP and sharing all relevant details with their neighbours, this community prevented further homes from being victimized.  


Rural Crime Watch is an organization of 17,000 rural members in 56 chapters throughout Alberta.  For an overview see https://www.ruralcrimewatch.ab.ca/. The chapter west of Calgary is Cochrane Foothills Protective Association see https://cfparcw.ca .


Submitted by Jim Willson and Amanda Glover




The site has been around for over a decade now and is currently being updated and revised to better reflect the Springbank area and its broad and varied community. We plan on adding Facebook to the site, as well as building a complete listing of area services and businesses, along with public interest articles, local history, and upcoming events. The site also allows for personal adds, and is meant to complement the SPFAS site and recreational activities now covered. We invite your input/comments as we go forward in helping to build our great community!


Ian Galbraith & Cindy Turner
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