Red Deer City Coun. Michael Dawe spoke up about an attempted break-in at his home during a city council meeting that discussed policing priorities. (Advocate file photo).

Red Deer City Coun. Michael Dawe spoke up about an attempted break-in at his home during a city council meeting that discussed policing priorities. (Advocate file photo).

All crimes should be reported, says Red Deer’s RCMP superintendent

Policing priorities are cracking down on property and drug crimes

Red Deer Coun. Michael Dawe saw evidence of an attempted break in to his home.

But as there were no witnesses or illegal entry, he admitted to city council on Monday he didn’t know if he should report this.

Dawe could relate to the 28 per cent of surveyed Red Deerians who had not reported crimes to RCMP in 2019. This number is up from 21 per cent in 2018.

Most respondents had explained that they had held off reporting it because they thought the crime was petty or minor.

But Supt. Gerald Grobmeier stressed to city council that all crimes should be reported — even if there’s little chance of catching the perpetrator. The information provided could help in other investigations or fill in gaps in the RCMP’s data bank.

“Don’t hesitate to call us… we’ll decide if it’s criminal or not,” said Grobmeier, who wants to raise awareness of the importance of reporting all illegal activities.

The RCMP superintendent mentioned that an online reporting system has been set up for reporting many less serious crimes.

“You go online, push a few buttons, and you’re done.”

Grobmeier presented a two-year policing priority plan for the local RCMP detachment to council that shows targets for crime reduction.

According to the plan, the Red Deer city RCMP aims to reduce property crimes by seven per cent and boost the number of drug trafficking charges laid by five per cent by 2022.

Property and drug crimes were ranked among the top priorities based on citizen surveys, community input, crime trends and statistics.

Property crimes, including thefts and break and enters, were listed as a top priority for 42 per cent of those surveyed. Vehicle thefts were the biggest concern for 28 per cent of the 400 respondents.

The February phone survey showed that cracking down on illegal drug use — which is often tied to property crime — is a top policing priority for 51 per cent of respondents. This is up from 41 per cent in 2018.

Coun. Lawrence Lee related how he has seen this community frustration first hand.

He was in the Superstore parking lot on a Saturday morning and saw a loss prevention officer follow a woman out of the store because she’d been spotted putting some unpaid items into a suitcase.

This woman was known to be a thief, said Lee, who suggested that cracking down on known perpetrators could bring down the over all crime rate significantly.

Grobmeier said this is one of the goals of Project Pinpoint, which tracks crimes around where known criminals are living and operating.

The new policing priorities were unanimously approved by council after hearing that headway was made over the past couple of years.

Drug trafficking charges were up by five per cent, while property crime was reduced by three per cent in each of the last two years.

Overall, 82 per cent of surveyed respondents were either satisfied or very satisfied with local policing.

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