Black Lake. Photo courtesy of cameconorth.com
The Black Lake First Nation, the RCMP and local community members say they are working together to stop the smuggling and illegal resale of alcohol in the northern Saskatchewan reserve.
The RCMP recently met with the Black Lake Safety Committee to formulate ideas on how to stop bootlegging.
The Black Lake Safety Committee sent MBC a media release about that meeting and included some concerning numbers. Since January 2017, Black Lake RCMP responded to around 3,000 calls for service and held around 1,000 people in retention over that same period of time. This for a community with an on-reserve population of 1,349.
“It’s time to help the leadership and the RCMP of the community on letting these bootleggers know what impact they cause in their community and to stop them,” said the media release.
RCMP Staff Sergeant Rob Embree says these numbers can be a bit misleading. He says not every call or retention were criminal in nature and may have been for calls for noise complaints and traffic violations. However, he does say many of the calls were alcohol-related.
“That is a definite concern,” said Staff Sergeant Embree. “I know the RCMP is involved in initiatives in the community and they are always looking at ways at reducing the prevalence of alcohol and alcohol abuse in the community.”
Embree says partnering with the community will be key for the RCMP to tackle these alcohol-related challenges.
The RCMP plans on being a part of more community safety meetings in the future.