A federal public safety official was in Pelican Narrows this week meeting with community leaders over increasing crime rates.

In the past several months, leaders from Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation have raised the alarm over the escalation of crime in the northern community.

Adrian Walraven with the Indigenous Affairs Branch of Public Safety Canada visited the community on Thursday.

“Engaging with Mr. Walraven marks a key step toward addressing the safety challenges in our communities,” said PBCN Chief Peter Beatty in a media release about the meetings. “Pelican Narrows is under tremendous strain – we are dealing with a Crime Severity Index six times above the province’s average with violent crimes having doubled in the past four years.”

The recent spike in crime has also coincided with a deficiency of RCMP officers in the community. According to officials the RCMP detachment in Pelican Narrows is authorized for 15 officers, but only 10 currently operate in the community.

(Staff from PBCN Health and Child and Family Services participate in the meeting, photo provided.

According to the Cree Nation, the key points of discussion included enhancing community safety, addressing RCMP staffing shortfalls, and other initiatives to combat violent crimes and substance abuse.

“We kook forward to the swift implementation of our discussions and are hopeful for the continued support from Mr. Walraven and the federal government,” said Beatty.

(Top Photo: Chief Peter Beatty discusses community safety issues in PBCN communities with Director General Adrian Walraven of the Indigenous Affairs Branch at Public Safety Canada.  Photo provided)