A Red Deer County man was arrested for drug possession by Innisfail RCMP on April 19. (File photo by Advocate staff)

A Red Deer County man was arrested for drug possession by Innisfail RCMP on April 19. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Property crime and drugs top Red Deer RCMP priorities in new plan

2020-2022 Policing Priorities Plan going to city council on Monday

Red Deer RCMP want to slash property crimes by seven per cent and boost the number of drug-trafficking charges laid by five per cent by 2022, according to its new priorities plan.

The two-year plan going to city council on Monday ranks property and drug crimes among top priorities based on citizen surveys, community input and crime trends and statistics.

By 2022, police have set a goal of increasing the number of property crimes cleared by investigators by four per cent.

A February telephone survey showed that 51 per cent of respondents listed drugs as a top local policing priority — up from 41 per cent in the last survey in 2018.

Property crimes — including thefts, vehicle thefts and break and enters — were listed a top priority by 42 per cent — down from 56 per cent.

Vehicle thefts were the biggest concern of 28 per cent of the 400 respondents.

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

When asked about community safety, respondents were most concerned about the downtown, parks and trails, industrial areas, public transit locations and apartment/condominium buildings.

Police also intend to focus on public safety and “dynamic enforcement.”

The goal is to cut calls to RCMP for social disruption by five per cent, to increase police presence in public areas and to work with social agencies to connect individuals with local support services.

On the community relations front, police plan to boost patrols in public areas and encourage reporting to police by three per cent.

The survey showed 28 per cent of respondents had not reported a crime, usually because it was considered petty or minor. That is up from the 21 per cent who said they did not report a crime in 2018.

RCMP report a number of successes in the 2018-20 policing priorities plan.

Drug trafficking-related charges increased by five per cent. Property crime was reduced by three per cent in 2018-19 and again in 2019-20.

In the downtown, citizens’ feeling of safety increased from 16 to 19 per cent in 2018-19, and up to 23 per cent in 2019-20.

Calls for service dropped by three per cent in 2018-19 and by the same amount in 2019-20.

Downtown property crimes were also down by three per cent in each of the same two periods.

Citizen satisfaction went up to 84 from 82 per cent and the crime reporting rate increased to 81 from 79 per cent.

The feeling of citizen safety in the community improved to 48 from 45 per cent.



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

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