Red Deer RCMP to focus more effort on reducing property crime

New policing plan sets greater focus on police involvement with youths

Red Deer RCMP Supt. Ken Foster (contributed photo).

Red Deer has fallen to No. 5 from No. 2 in the National Crime Index comparing similar-sized cities in Canada, said the city’s RCMP superintendent Ken Foster.

According to the latest Statistics Canada data Foster received this week, this city stands at No. 4 for non-violent crime and No. 14 for violent crime, achieving an overall ranking of No. 5 on a list of comparable cities in Canada.

While Foster is encouraged that Red Deer’s latest crime rate, as measured by Statistics Canada for 2016, dropped somewhat from the previous year, Foster was not surprised that property crimes still remain a big local concern.

Many people in the city lost their jobs, but their addictions “did not receive lay-off notices,” said Foster, who knows drug problems are fuelling most of this city’s property crimes.

Red Deer RCMP will maintain a strong focus on drug crime, but with Red Deer’s high rate of break-ins and car thefts, officers will also pay more attention to responding to victims of property crimes and to high-risk youths, said Foster.

No extra resources are being provided, so the city’s 160 officers will have to readjust some of their workload in accordance with new priorities outlined Thursday in the annual policing plan:

l Reducing property crimes through targeting habitual offenders and developing public education campaigns.

l Preventing youth crimes by focusing on finding missing young people and “increasing engagement” with youths.

l Building and maintaining positive relations with “partners” in the community, including the newly formed Protective Services Division, and social service agencies.

l Increasing communications with downtown stakeholders, and increasing RCMP presence in the downtown.

l Building and maintaining quality service, with an increased police response to property crime victims.

Foster said some measures used to achieve better outcomes are developing surveillance camera registries, setting proactive property crime enforcement targets, and increasing police outreach to social agencies in the downtown.

Although police will continue to crack down on violent crime, Foster set some new targets for improving police service to the public. These include boosting the number of police call-backs to victims by 10 per cent, and aiming for a 90 per cent police attendance rate at all break and enters.

Paul Goranson, director of the newly formed Protective Services Division, which brings together RCMP, emergency services and fire, said a closer relationship between the City and police is important, since crime continues to be a top priority for Red Deer residents — as identified in a recent Ipsos quality of life survey (see sidebar).

Just Posted

Poll: Advocate readers support a supervised-injection site at Turning Point

Some residents don’t want to see a safe injection site in Red Deer

Twenty more “state of emergency” shelter beds opened in Red Deer

Council told Red Deer has the lowest number of shelter spaces in the province

An international junior hockey tournament is coming to Red Deer in 2018

City grants $75,000 to the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup, to be co-hosted by Red Deer and Edmonton

Motorist dies near Ponoka after loose tire collides with vehicle

Police believe a semi-trailer wheel may have struck oncoming vehicle

Red Deer police seize rifles and shotguns from storage locker

A man and a woman facing nearly 200 charges after 29 firearms seized last month

Red Deer police seize rifles and shotguns from storage locker

A man and a woman facing nearly 200 charges after 29 firearms seized last month

Red Deer needs to find a solution to syringe debris: city manager

City will consider the problem during the 2018 operating budget talks

WestJet Christmas video turns children’s wishes into reality

This year’s annual video took a new spin on the 12 days of Christmas

VIDEO: Replay Red Deer Dec. 10

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

VIDEO: B.C. to end geographic area rent increases, close fixed-term lease loopholes

Both clauses allowed landlords to raise rents above the max annual allowable rent increase

UPDATE: Train hits hydro pole, causes outage near Deltaport

No injuries reported but traffic in and out of Deltaport is blocked

A Red Deer daycare coordinator wins provincial award of excellence

Nicole Morrell is a coordinator at Johnstone Daycare

Holiday shopping season picking up in Red Deer

With 18 shopping days left until Christmas, Red Deer businesses are cautiously… Continue reading

Gord Bamford Foundation adds more beneficiaries

The Gord Bamford Foundation has added more names of charities that will… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month