The people of La Ronge are tired of being victims and are ready to take action in the face of ongoing theft, vandalism and property crime throughout their community.

A statement such as this may elicit visions of homeowners and housewives alike channelling their inner Charles Bronson to extract vengeance against those making their lives a living hell, but – instead of fighting fire with fire – residents have decided to pool their efforts to properly and peacefully address a problem some say has persisted for many years.
The new Town of La Ronge anti-property crime/vandalism task force was formed last week, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

According to an RCMP news release, three young people were in police custody recently following numerous break-and-enters that occurred in the La Ronge area on the weekend of Nov. 13. The investigation led police to a residence on the nearby Lac La Ronge Indian Band where they later executed a search warrant and recovered a significant amount of stolen property. Further investigation led to the execution of two more search warrants. An undisclosed amount of stolen firearms, ammunition, cash, electronics, bicycles and other items were located at these homes and, as a result, three boys between the ages of 13 and 16 were remanded into police custody before appearing in court Nov. 19. Because of the high number of reported residential break-ins as of late, police also remind property owners to remain vigilant for what may still be yet to come.

Although in its early stages, the purpose of the newly formed task force will be to look at what steps can be taken to help prevent crimes such as the recent break-ins from continually plaguing the community. A public consultation meeting is planned for the New Year, but some early suggestions have included the formation of a Citizens on Patrol or a Neighbourhood Watch program. Town council has also asked the RCMP to enforce the municipality’s curfew bylaw in an attempt to keep children under the age of 18 off the streets during the late night hours.

These are all forward-thinking ideas that should result in a significant difference if allowed to reach fruition. But, even though the current crime situation is a community-wide problem, perhaps the best solution begins and ends in the home. While several online sources indicate a wide range of risk factors correlate with delinquent behaviour, what it really boils down to is good parenting. Communicate with your children, take an interest in what interests them and get to know their friends. But, first and foremost, teach them to do right and they’ll grow up to do right. Sure there’ll be times when they falter or fail, but that’s when it’s critical to guide them back down the right path. It may not be the perfect solution, but for the time being, it’s the best one.