McLeese Lake residents Dan Harrison, left, and Ian Hicks, updated Williams Lake city council Tuesday, Oct. 6 on efforts their community is making to be proactive about crime. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

McLeese Lake community watch group aims to tackle crime

Group has grown to 96 members in a short time

The small rural community of McLeese Lake is banding together to tackle crime.

During a presentation to Williams Lake city council Tuesday, Oct. 6, Dan Harrison and Ian Hicks said they have 96 people in a community watch Facebook group that are communicating regularly and effectively with each other.

Back in August some community members rallied outside the Williams Lake courthouse when a property crime offender from their community was being sentenced.

Read more: McLeese Lake residents rally for justice at Williams Lake courthouse

When they learned the offender received a light sentence and they were disappointed, they returned home and Harrison suggested they form a community watch group.

Last week there was a home invasion on Sept. 29 in McLeese Lake where three men robbed an older woman who was at home alone, with one of the suspects entering the home.

Harrison said it scared her.

“It also exposed a giant vulnerability in our community,” he told council. “Not only do we have a prolific offender, now we have a large scale incident that just took place and that has really shaken a lot of people.”

Read more: LETTER: Community support after break and enter a ‘bright light’

Hicks said the positive thing, however, has been how effectively everyone is communicating with each other.

He shared an example where during a collision in McLeese Lake, he received a message on the community watch page alerting that a vehicle RCMP were looking for in regards to a missing girl and another prolific offender was seen leaving a house and heading south on the highway.

Hicks said he went up to an officer at the accident scene and told him that a vehicle police were looking for was stuck in the lineup of vehicles.

“That’s what comes out of this getting together as a community,” Hicks told council. “This is neat, this is good. What’s comes out of a negative situation with this prolific offender getting charged and us making a stand and saying we are tired of this repeating and repeating is Dan suggesting we make a community watch.”

They have applied for a special events grant to purchase some surveillance equipment, he added.

Mayor Walt Cobb told Harrison and Hicks the City appreciates the work they’ve done, echoed by Coun. Scott Nelson who applauded the community for taking a strong position and working together.

“We are all in this together and we appreciate the work that you’ve done to help raise the profile,” Nelson said. “Hopefully the courts and the judges continue to see that the communities are starting to take greater action to ensure their safety is always the top priority.”

Coun. Marnie Brenner said it is remarkable how the community of McLeese Lake has pulled together.

She told Harrison and Hicks McLeese Lake has set an example for other groups and communities that’s it is about positive peer pressure and not about vigilantism.

“I just hope that we can continue to do good and keep the peace,” Harrison replied. “That’s ultimately what we want — we just want to enjoy where we live, like you all do.”

Harrison also thanked Williams Lake RCMP Insp. Jeff Pelley for his support.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CrimeRCMPWilliams Lake

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health-care worker prepares to swab a man at a walk-in COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal North, Sunday, May 10, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)
Interior Health records 21 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

Thirty-six cases remain active; two people are in the hospital, one of whom is in intensive care

Columnist Jim Hilton discusses politics in this installment of <em>Forest Ink.</em> (Wahkash Contracting Ltd. photo)
FOREST INK: Support for the productive sectors of society

I was again reminded of people who do this for a living rather than just a retirement hobby

Williams Lake city crews tried out the new lake weed harvester from Scout Island Monday, Oct. 19. It cannot be used to harvest weeds until the City receives a permit from the Ministry of Environment. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Lake weed harvester ready for use in Williams Lake

Freshly painted green and yellow, the equipment cannot harvest weeds until the City gets a permit

Mount Timothy Ski Resort. (Angie Mindus photo)
CRD encourages outdoor recreation groups to apply for provincial funding

Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program guidelines provide Oct. 2020

Erin Getson, left, and Kathy Shetler were out putting up posters Thursday for the upcoming Maranatha Christian School Outdoor Market taking place Saturday, Oct. 24 at 1278 Lakeview Crescent. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Maranatha Christian School outdoor market Oct. 24 in Williams Lake

The market will have approximately 30 vendors, admission is free

With local MLA Adam Olsen looking on, BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said a Green government would convert BC Ferries into a Crown corporation Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

A B.C. man decided to create a website to help people find family doctors accepting patients. Because Victoria is considered high-demand, clinic openings can’t be posted publicly. (Unsplash)
Vancouver Island man starts website that connects B.C. residents with doctors

Nanaimo man started project to help people find family physicians accepting patients

Voting station at Tzeachten Hall in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent on the first day of advance voting in the provincial election on Oct. 15, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. VOTES 2020: 380,000 British Columbians head to polls in first 4 days of advance voting

Some of highest voter turnout so far has been seen on Vancouver Island and in Shuswap

Most Read