Mayor clarifies facts of CTV documentary on North Battleford

By Angela Brown
October 10, 2018 - 2:10pm Updated: October 10, 2018 - 2:42pm

City of North Battleford Mayor Ryan Bater spoke at council's meeting Tuesday to clarify some information referenced in the Sept. 29 CTV W5 documentary about eight people supposedly causing a high level of crime in North Battleford. 

Bater said the news team appeared to have misinterpreted this point in the show, and as a result people who watched the program in the community are confused about the issue.

"I just want to clear the air about the facts," he said. "It's important to use facts in these matters."

Bater said there are not eight individuals responsible for 38 per cent of all crime in North Battleford. Rather, he said the RCMP report about eight people at any given time account for a high proportional, about 38 per cent of calls for service downtown specifically. 

"The reporter who was interviewing (RCMP) Inspector Sutherland took a comment that he had made, and he has made several times in these chambers, that about eight people ... are responsible for a high proportion of calls for service in the downtown core," Bater said. 

The mayor said the number can fluctuate from six to 12 people, ultimately adding significantly to the RCMP's tally of calls for service downtown. 

These types of calls usually involve public intoxication, nuisance, mischief, and other similar types of offences. The mayor added they are "not what we would call violent or high levels of crime."

Bater said the reason the RCMP mentioned these types of calls, regardless of their severity, is that "they do tie up police resources."   

He said in many cases these individuals are taken to the police station for an overnight stay, or to the local hospital emergency room if they have an injury.

"There is often a wait of several hours under which an RCMP member has to stay with that person," Bater said "The point is that those are [police] resources that could be better used for higher levels of crime elsewhere."

He mentioned the eight people in question have almost daily contact with the RCMP because they are dealing with personal challenges.

"Something needs to be done on the social side to address those needs," he said.

 

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