RCMP targets property crime

Four-day blitz earlier this spring leads to 13 arrests and dozens of charges

A Red Deer RCMP property crime blitz has produced big results.

The four-day “intensive multi-pronged property crime campaign” two months ago led to 13 arrests, 33 Criminal Code charges and 21 warrants executed.

“Campaigns like this are just one part of Red Deer RCMP’s daily approach, which is to reduce property crime and apply constant pressure to those individuals who are responsible for most of that crime,” says Red Deer RCMP Insp. Gerald Grobmeier in a news release.

“We’re in the hot spots and we’re conducting conditions checks on prolific offenders every day, and our message is clear: if you continue to break the law, we’re sending you back to jail.”

Beginning at the end of March, Red Deer RCMP carried out a targeted operation that focused on crime hot spots, prolific property crime offenders, outstanding warrants and stolen vehicles. For four days and nights, teams from the Community Response Unit, Traffic and general duty watches conducted surveillance, conditions checks and intensive patrols at hot spots in industrial areas and addresses known to police.

The campaign wrapped up with four high-visibility check stops at key locations throughout the city.

RCMP were looking for stolen vehicles and licence plates, vehicles attempting to avoid police check stops, offenders wanted on outstanding warrants and those not complying with court-imposed conditions.

The crackdown was supported by the Alberta RCMP helicopter.

The targeted policing is part of the Red Deer RCMP’s, Project Pinpoint, a crime reduction strategy introduced lastyear.

Project Pinpoint is getting results, say police. Between March 17 and April 4, there were 75 break and enters, compared with 103 during the same time period in 2016.

“Parallel to our targeted focus on property crime, RCMP have also seen an increase in public reporting of suspicious or criminal activity, and that’s helping police tremendously,” says Grobmeier.

“We can’t be everywhere, but when citizens report a suspicious or stolen vehicle, RCMP are responding, and we’re making a lot of arrests as a result of those reports.”

Police said throwing people in the cells isn’t their first choice.

“We would, however, prefer to work with these individuals and help them address the root causes for their crimes and keep them out of the justice system,” says Grobmeier.

pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

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