The National Police Federation (NPF) is calling for more provincial funding for rural policing.
The RCMP union responded to the recent announcement from the provincial government about some new measures to combat violent crime in Alberta's urban centres.
That announcement included law enforcement teams targetting violent and repeat offenders specifically in Calgary and Edmonton, as well as new bail protocols for Crown prosecutors.
Kevin Halwa, the prairie region director with the NPF, says any steps to reduce crime are positive steps, but rural areas policed by the RCMP have been overlooked.
"More fully trained police officers is always better than less fully trained police officers, so the announcement of additional resources for Edmonton and Calgary, that's fantastic for Edmonton and Calgary but that leaves the bulk of the province with nothing additional. Criminals should not be welcome anywhere in Alberta, not just Edmonton and Calgary. There are many square miles that cover the rest of the province that criminals ought not to be welcome in as well."
A release from the NPF notes millions of dollars that have been earmarked for the Calgary and Edmonton police services, as well as a planned police transition in Grande Prairie.
Halwa says the bail reform aspect of the recent announcement is a positive change that stands to benefit all Albertans, though he notes it's not a very substantial change.
"It is a step in the right direction but there have always been reverse onus provisions in the criminal code when we speak to bail. For example, if the accused person has been arrested and is already on release, there were already provisions in the criminal code for the crown to assert a reverse onus where it's the accused now that has to justify why they should be released from custody. The idea that toughening up that aspect of it, that's great news for victims of crime across the province."
The NPF has been vocal about the need for bail reform in the past, having released a list of recommendations for bail reform earlier this year.
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