The provincial government and RCMP have launched the next step of a plan aimed at pushing back against rural crime.

The initiative, Project Lock Up, comes nearly a year after the province invested $10 million and introduced a new strategy to combat rural crime.

The provincial government credits that move for the decrease in rural crime in 2018, where there were 480 fewer homes broken into, 3,500 fewer thefts and 1,200 fewer vehicles stolen.

“Rural crime is down, month over month, every month since we implemented our plan,” Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley said.

But Raymond Galas, a farmer near Westlock, hasn’t seen an improvement. He’s had two break-ins since he has lived there.

“It’s getting worse and worse,” he told CTV News. “At the time it happened, I would get up every night at 3:30 a.m.; every night for almost a year.”

Project Lock Up promises to follow up with Albertans affected by break-and-enters, in person or by phone, to hear about what happened and offer crime prevention advice.  

The initiative aims to put residents like Galas at ease by communicating more with those hit hardest by crime.

The project includes a database—available to agencies across Alberta—that will identify crime hot spots, the types of crimes, homes repeatedly affected and persons of interest.

With files from CTV Edmonton's Timm Bruch