IN THIS ISSUE
It Happened to One of Us
2022 Incident Summary
(Incident source: Archer, Meaghan. (2022, October 5). 2 men arrested after theft of ‘substantial amounts’ of canola from central Alberta farm. Globalnews.ca. Accessed November 9, 2022, from https://globalnews.ca/news/9175675/canola-theft-central-alberta-farm/#:~:text=RCMP%20have%20arrested%20two%20men%20and%20recovered%20farming,farm%20and%20%E2%80%9Csuspicious%20individuals%20attempting%20to%20sell%20canola.%E2%80%9D)
|Description||Injury Type||Age Range||Sector||WCB Code|
|Theft||None||Not Confirmed||Not Confirmed||Not Confirmed|
Early one morning, on a farm in central Alberta, a farmer was contacted by his neighbour. The neighbour had noticed a truck and a grain auger being pulled by a jeep go past and found it odd. Upon hearing this, the farmer decided to check his grain bin. When he got there, he found approximately 600 bushels of canola and the grain auger kept next to the bin missing.
People in the area began sharing what happened and warning others to be watchful over text and social media. A short while later, RCMP received a report of questionable individuals trying to sell canola. The alleged thieves became nervous at some point and it eventually escalated into a police chase.
After some time, the grain truck was stopped using a spike belt and, according to an RCMP release, a loaded 12-gauge shotgun was found in one of the vehicles. Two men were arrested in relation to the incident.
Sadly, famers have been targets for all types of theft over the years. While no one can afford to lose grain, fuel, livestock or vehicles, it is more important that no one loses their life in an attempt to confront a thief.
AgSafe Alberta recognizes the challenges farmers and rancher face when it comes to policing and response times in rural areas. While the points listed here may not be ideal, it is essential that any actions you take are the ones that will be the safest for yourself and the others on your farm.
Important safety considerations if you suspect there is criminal activity on your property:
- Do not attempt to confront the individual(s); call 9-1-1 immediately! As in this instance, they may be armed and there may be more people involved than you are aware of. The emphasis should be on keeping yourself and the others on your farm safe.
- Do not attempt to chase or track down the thieves or would be thieves. Again, they may be armed and dangerous, and there may be more of them than you think.
- If you notice a broken window, open door, broken lock or other indication that your house, shop or barn may have been broken into, do not search it yourself. Call 9-1-1 and do not enter the area until the RCMP have told you that it safe to do so.
- Have a plan in place and keep the plan simple. Talk about the plan and practice it with family members and workers. This is especially important for farms with young family members or young workers; you don’t want them putting themselves in a potentially dangerous situations or in a situation that creates unnecessary fear or trauma.
Remember these tips:
- If a crime is in progress, call 9-1-1 immediately. Be prepared to give the 9-1-1 operator your location (e.g., rural address, nearest intersection, etc.). Answer their questions to the best of your ability and follow their instructions. They will ask questions in a specific way and in a certain order for a reason, becoming frustrated will only delay or interfere with the response.
- If the crime occurred while you were away or sleeping (not in progress), call the non-emergency line of your local RCMP detachment. Local detachments can be found by clicking here.
- Always report the crime to RCMP and document it for your own records. Too often, rural residents fail to report crimes in their area because they think the police have more important things to do or they don’t believe the RCMP will do anything with the information. This can have negative impacts, as an accurate picture of the areas most affected by crime and types of crimes occurring will not be identified and may contribute the issues not getting addressed. Reporting the crimes and having details on record can also help the RCMP build stronger cases against the offending individuals so that action can be taken.
- Why document it? Performing your own on-farm investigation can help you identify ways to reduce the likelihood of it happening again. If you have a Rural Crime Watch Chapter in your area, comparing notes of what you are finding, as well as what is working and what is not to deter crime, could be interesting and helpful.
Other Helpful Resources:
Click here to read AMA’s article on 9 Tips to Prevent Vehicle Theft.
Click here to read the Co-Operators’ article 10 ways to prevent home break-ins.
Visit the Alberta Provincial Rural Crime Watch Association’s website for more tips or to start a chapter in your area.
To submit a tip about a crime or to view the Alberta RCMP Crime Map, visit the Crime Stoppers website.
Curious about crime statistics in your area? You can find them on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Alberta Crime Statistics page.
12 Days of Safety Special Announcement
AgSafe Alberta is doing something different for Christmas this year. For each of our 12 Days of Safety, we will be giving away gifts! Follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to learn what that day’s gift is and follow the directions given there. You will have until midnight MST each day to enter your name into that day’s draw.
Please note that to qualify for some items, you must be a resident of Alberta.
FARMERS CARE Level 2 Is Now Available!
FARMERS CARE Level 2 introduces you to the importance of orientation, training and communication, topics that are just as critical to managing the hazards and risks on a family farm as they are on a farm with employees. The information presented is kept simple, practical and relatable.
Whether you operate a family farm, a feedlot with 20 employees or are a one-person show who gets the odd volunteer from time to time, you will find information in FARMERS CARE Level 2 that you can apply to, and benefit from, on your operation. This program contains various learning activities, videos and downloadable forms that will help you continue growing safety on your farm. Once completed, you will receive a personalized certificate of completion and be able to review the information as many times as you like.
Important Note: Unless you have already completed FARMERS CARE Level 1, you will not be able to see or access FARMERS CARE Level 2 on the AgSafe Alberta learning platform. To learn more about FARMERS CARE Level 1, including some exciting new changes, keep reading to the Safety First, Last Thoughts section of this newsletter.
Please note that to qualify for some items, you must be a resident of Alberta.
2023 Growing Farm Safety Series
Do you know what to do if you have an incident on your farm? What about if someone comes to work impaired? Maybe you have questions about youth working on the farm…
AgSafe Alberta has an incredible lineup of subject-matter experts discussing these and other topics. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for updates, or visit our website.
SAFETY FIRST, LAST THOUGHTS
FARMERS CARE LEVEL 1: THE RE-BOOT
Did you start FARMERS CARE Level 1 and not finish? Perhaps you haven’t started it all. That’s OK, because we have great news for you!
AgSafe Alberta has redesigned and relaunched FARMERS CARE Level 1 to be even easier, faster and more interactive. In just a few minutes, you can get acquainted with the common hazards and mechanisms of injury found on farms and ranches. You don’t need any previous safety knowledge or experience; all it takes is a computer, tablet or mobile device, an internet connection, and a little time.
Remember, unexpected things can happen to even the most experienced farmers. The free FARMERS CARE program is designed to be a simple and effective tool to help you make your operation a safer place to live, work and grow up. Don’t wait for something to happen before you start improving safety on your farm.