THE RCMP’S presence in the downtown core is being beefed up thanks to filling vacancies.
The Crime Reduction Unit (CRU), also called the street crew, originally had four members, then moved down to three and in recent months had been down to only two officers.
“CRU has been down to two members for the past few months as a result of vacancies,” said Terrace RCMP inspector Dana Hart, adding that the Terrace detachment itself is almost back to its full complement.
“There has not been any significant increase in crime, but if we aren’t proactive, it will [increase],” said Hart. “And while we are pleased not to be in the top 10 [cities for crime rate], we are committed to further reducing the crime rate in the Terrace area.”
The street crew was formed by Hart’s predecessor, Inspector Eric Stubbs, in response to an increasing problem of public intoxication, petty crime and social disorder in the downtown core.
Officers stepped up foot patrols, concentrating on prolific offenders with the idea of preventing crimes or problems before they took place. The street crew also uses a van, making it easier to take people to jail or to facilities where they can be assisted.
Statistics Canada’s Crime Severity Index for communities with more than 10,000 residents in 2010 placed Terrace at 29 out of 238 when it was released last year.
That was a major drop from the city’s 13th place showing from 2009.
And the violent crime severity index put Terrace at 34th place.
Stats Can started keeping track of the Crime Severity Index in 2009, saying it addressed the amount of crime and also its severity.
It also shows whether crime is more or less serious than in previous years and whether reported crime is more or less serious than in other places.