The Lacombe Police Service (LPS) is reporting an increase of business property crime and mental health checks as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
“With businesses being shut down, it is an opportunity for criminals to hit businesses that are not occupied. We seeing an increase of mischief related to property crime,” LPS Constable Vaughan Bleasdale said.
Bleasdale they are encouraging Lacombe business owners to practice some common sense tactics to helps protect their businesses and the community.
“If you could leave a light on so we can see when we are passing and also have the security systems activated — that is always a plus. If you have cameras on the building also helps. It really is the basics of day-to-day business safety and building safety that we would like to see,” he said.
Bleasdale said that with people working from home, an increase of family/domestic violence is always a possibility but LPS has not seen an increase in those numbers as of yet.
“Right now we are seeing an increase of mental health calls. That all plays into the same thing where people are stressed out with the climate and we are definitely seeing an increase of mental health calls. With domestics, we haven’t seen an increase but it is definitely a concern,” he said.
Bleasdale said LPS is encouraging Lacombe residents to interact with the police service through the telephone or email if possible.
“We would really like to see people calling in their complaints,” he said. “You can make those complaints via telephone at 403-782-3279. That will go directly to our dispatch. If it is of a severe nature and you we decide you need to come down to the station, we can make that determination at that time.
“The other option is via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We haven’t really seen an increase in calls for service coming in that way — people mainly call in — but that is another option.”
In terms of protecting essential staff and offices, Bleasdale said the situation is fluid but LPS is continuing to follow provincial guidelines.
“We are trying to follow provincial guidelines outlined by the province, trying to work within them while still providing the service to the Lacombe area,” he said.
Bleasdale said it is important for Lacombe residents to look out for one-another throughout the pandemic.
“The Lacombe Police are still open for business and we are still available for any calls. We are out day and night providing 24/7 policing to the City of Lacombe. We will be continuing to do that for the duration of the pandemic,” he said.
He added LPS continues to work with their municipal partners through the Emergency Coordination Centre.
“Everyone is working well together. The centre is a work-in-progress and right now we are following provincial guidelines, taking cues from the province on how we should proceed,” he said.