Battlefords RCMP are investigating after a fifty-five-year-old man was left in serious condition following an attack in a rural area near the city.
According to Battlefords RCMP Staff Sgt. Jason Teniuk, they received a call at about 11:30 p.m. on Nov. 7 that a man was “assaulted with an edged weapon.” S/Sgt. Teniuk said he couldn’t specify what the edged weapon was, saying it was an active investigation and he wanted to protect its integrity.
According to RCMP, a couple of unknown men went to the man’s home asking for help to get their vehicle unstuck but when he went outside to help the men, he was attacked.
The man suffered serious injuries and was treated in hospital and released.
S/Sgt. Teniuk, in an interview with the Battlefords News-Optimist on Dec. 4, said the Battlefords RCMP and the RCMP Provincial GIS Unit are investigating.
Rural residents living in fear
Neighbours living in the area say they are living in fear.
“We are all very concerned about the crime in the area and the insecurity,” said a neighbour of the man who was attacked but didn’t want to be identified.
“It feels like you’re not safe in your home right now and even in your yard during the day.”
The neighbour said the RCMP are doing their best but “it’s getting out of control and it’s not publicized, the amount of crime going on.
“People are unaware of the crime and the number of thefts, the number of break-ins. These things need to be on the news.”
The neighbour said the increase in vehicle and property thefts in the area has increased property insurance costs.
S/Sgt. Teniuk said he didn’t have any numbers of property crime incidents.
“Without a massive information pull I cannot confirm that we have ‘lots of incidents’ of break and enters,” he said. “I would absolutely agree that we do a very poor job of reporting to the media. This goes for all of our detachment areas, not just this R.M.
“We are under resourced and there is just not enough time in a day to get done everything we need to do.”
S/Sgt. Teniukacknowledged residents’ frustration but said there are a variety of factors that need to be considered.
Neighbour won’t help stranded drivers anymore
Property can be replaced but a person being physically attacked is unacceptable, said the neighbour.
“When it comes to somebody beating someone up for no apparent reason it’s just appalling.”
The rural resident – who moved to the country to get away from city crime –said they will no longer help people coming to their yard or door asking for help.
“We will make sure our house alarm is on and make sure our doors are locked. We have lived here almost 40 years and lots of times in the night someone has vehicle problems and we go out to help, but now, definitely not. We will phone the police to come or a tow truck to come.”
Police tips for rural residents
S/Sgt. Teniuk said there are measures rural residents can take to keep themselves safer.
“I would suggest that people be careful with their property and personal well-being. Lock up all of their property. Lock their outbuildings. Lock their vehicles.
“Be suspicious of people and vehicles not known to them on their property,” added S/Sgt. Teniuk. “Call the police if they are unsure or are concerned.
“Watch out for your neighbours and suspicious activities going on. Join or start a rural Crime Watch. Establish a text tree though one of the many apps to keep neighbours connected and keeping everyone in the loop.”
Residents should also have pictures, receipts and descriptions of high value property, he added.