Concentrated effort reduces crime rate

THE CRIME rate here dropped substantially in 2010 compared to the year before, reports RCMP Inspector Eric Stubbs who commands the local detachment.

THE CRIME rate here dropped substantially in 2010 compared to the year before, reports RCMP Inspector Eric Stubbs who commands the local detachment.

The most notable decrease was a 50 per cent declince in business break and enters.

“I attribute [the decrease to] the work done by both the [crime reduction union] and general duty. But it is the result of focusing on the prolific offenders. When you can effectively deal with people that commit crime every day, it has a large effect on numbers,” said Stubbs in presenting his annual report to city council Feb. 14.

“Those stats aren’t just from the downtown core, that’s in all areas of the city. The increase from two to four members of the [crime reduction unit] was significant in the fact that we had [a] daily presence in the downtown core and attention to our prolific offenders.”

Last year saw a 38 per cent drop in thefts from motor vehicles, a 29 per cent decrease in thefts under $1,000 and in people causing disturbances.

Assaults dropped 24 per cent, public intoxication went down 23 per cent, shoplifting decreased 24 per cent and residential break-ins dropped 15 per cent.

“Again, I believe this is a result of targeting prolific offenders and hot spot areas in the community,” said Stubbs.

The crime reduction unit, also referred to as the street crew, was formed in April 2009 and resulted in a 90 per cent decrease in calls for service at George Little Park compared to 2008, said the report.

Calls for assistance in the downtown core dropped 47 per cent, compared to 2008.

Overall, calls to the detachment decreased 15 per cent compared to 2008 and 23 per cent compared to 2007.

The unit focussed on four areas: doing foot, bike and vehicle patrols in the downtown core; identifying and targeting prolific offenders; checking that high risk people on bail or probation are following their conditions; and special projects considered a priority such as drug work, traffic work or policing special events like Riverboat Days.

Officers also concentrated on Caledonia Senior Secondary School, Skeena Junior Secondary, Parkside and Thornhill Junior Secondary.

Officers went to school law classes, career planning and played hockey against the city’s bantam rep team.

Looking ahead, a domestic violence committee is expected to be ready to help victims April 1, said Stubbs.

The committee intends to offer better services for high risk victims of domestic violence and consists of representatives from Ksan House, Community Based Victim Services, police-based victim services, the Ministry of Children and Families, probation and the RCMP, he said.

Council members expressed their support of the local RCMP detachment.