Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad  Print this page

Where crimes get noticed

Philippe Morin
Northern News Services

Inuvik (Dec 11/06) - Valerie Tomlinson has owned the same bicycle for 10 years.

She said she's brought it on various travels, including some time in Norway, and long used it as a way of getting to work. But when that bicycle was stolen twice in Inuvik last year, she said she learned a lesson about small towns.

She said she was angry her bike was taken, but thankful that people helped her get it back.

The first time it was taken, Tomlinson said, a man she barely knew recognized it in a ditch and informed her.

The second time, she said she recognized her bike on someone else's porch and picked it up.

It was lucky the thief didn't live far away.

"Inuvik is a small town so crimes don't go unnoticed," she said. "In the city it's probable you won't know the person who robs you, but here there's less stranger-on-stranger crime."

Tuktoyaktuk RCMP Sgt. Charlie Gauthier said there's indeed an advantage to living in a relatively small town.

In closer-knit communities like those of the Beaufort, Gauthier said, there is a higher chance criminals will be recognized and caught.

"It's a smaller place, so it makes it more contained and easier to find who did what," he said.

"I guess if you look at the difference in solving crimes, the solving rate in a smaller place (like Tuktoyaktuk) is often 70 or 80 per cent. In a big Southern

centre, you would not get that," he said.

This view is shared by Aklavik RCMP corporal Holly Glassford.

"It's not surprising at all," she said when asked about Beaufort Delta communities seeing more crimes solved.

"It's a small town and everyone knows each other."