by Morinville News Staff
Rural property crime was down 17 per cent from January to July over last year and down 25 per cent when comparing July 2018 with July 2017. The numbers come from Alberta RCMP Crime Reduction Strategy information released Tuesday in a press conference in Airdrie.
Alberta RCMP are crediting their Crime Reduction Strategy, launched this year to break the cycle of criminal activity over the long term.
“We made a commitment to Albertans and we are delivering on that commitment,” said – Deputy Commissioner Todd Shean, Commanding Officer, Alberta RCMP. “Midway through the first year of implementing our Crime Reduction Strategy, property crime is down across the province. As the rural police force of Alberta, we are committed to ensuring this trend continues in every category in every community throughout Alberta.”
The RCMP say their 7-point action plan expanded its Crime Reduction Strategy by enhancing intelligence and information sharing, dedicating resources to apprehend repeat offenders, and reducing administrative burdens of officers.
The RCMP stats show 648 fewer motor vehicle thefts in Alberta this year compared to last year, 366 fewer break and enter incidents, and 2,358 fewer thefts.
Province-wide from January to July, property crimes decreased nine percent compared to the same period last year. In the RCMP’s rural detachments, that number dropped 11 per cent. RCMP are not including fraud, mischief, and arson in their property crime numbers.
In July alone, those numbers had dropped 17 per cent provincially and 25 per cent in the rural detachments.
Since launching District-level Crime Reduction Units in February that specialize in identifying and apprehending repeat offenders, there have been more than 500 arrests and 1,600 charges.
RCMP say the high ratio of arrests to charges shows the Crime Reduction Unit’s focus of finding and arresting the people who hurt communities the most.
Rural Crime Watch is pleased with the numbers.
“Community is our strength. Rural Crime Watch members act as an extra eyes and ears, not only for the RCMP by providing them with information they need for their investigations but for our friends and neighbours,” said Dean Hart, Board Member, Rural Crime Watch Southern Alberta for Zone 1. “As members, we take an active role in educating our community and watching each other’s backs.”