New community crime program underway

South Cariboo Chamber of Commerce offers members-only perk

The South Cariboo Chamber of Commerce (SCCC) has begun a new program of providing weekly crime reports to all its members.

SCCC executive director Colene Hume says it officially started in September, but the first report went out to members in August as a pilot test to see how members responded.

“Any feedback on this [program] would be greatly appreciated.”

It will be sending out these reports with information on evidence of crimes, such as theft, break-ins and vandalism, which will be gathered from the RCMP and the SCCC members who send it in to Hume.

“Anything that members call in with I will be sending out in the next crime report, unless it is really urgent, and then I’ll send it out right away.

“We will be notifying the chamber members by e-mail about any goings-on in our community that require the assistance of the RCMP and affect our businesses.”

The SCCC members were asked by e-mail and in a couple of newsletters for feedback on releasing their business names when any are mentioned in crime reports, and Hume notes no objections were received.

“By networking, we can [notify] members there is crime taking place in our community, and then our members know to take extra precautions.”

The reports are only shared with SCCC members, Hume says, adding it will be sent out on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, depending on the availability of information.

She notes members are strongly encouraged to communicate anything they see or experience regarding local crimes having been committed.

“Make sure the RCMP is always your first call. We also encourage our members to call the chamber and let us know that a crime has occurred.”

The points Hume will be looking for when members report a crime are where crime occurred, which the officer is in charge of the case, and what time of day or night the crime is believed to have occurred.

The first test-run report included two vehicle thefts, a stolen charity donation jar, graffiti at a public washroom, and a broken-into shed at a local business – all of which Hume notes were sent in by RCMP.

“So far, the response has been good. I’ve had a couple of suggestions on how to better it, but other than that … it’s been ‘thanks, I didn’t know this had occurred’.”

She adds the suggestions included having more crime detail, such as time and date information, and to provide some suggestions on how to crime-proof a business.

SCCC members can find more details in the regular newsletters they receive by e-mail.

For information on how to join the SCCC, contact Hume at 250-395-6124 or e-mail her at manager@southcariboochamber.org.