Central Alberta’s crime rate decreased in 2018, thanks in part to a new pilot program participated by the Sylvan Lake RCMP.
For the last four months of 2018, the Sylvan Lake RCMP were part of a pilot project to reduce rural crime.
The Sylvan Lake RCMP joined the Lacombe Police Service in a Joint Forces Operation from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31, 2018.
The Wetaskiwin area was the first to work on the pilot program, from April to August of 2018.
The RCMP began these pilot projects to help reduce the rate of rural crime in the Central Alberta District. The programs are being considered a success by the RCMP.
“The success of these two pilot projects makes it clear that our policing approach is making a difference. The intelligence gained through these two projects will be used in 2019 with further ‘short term teams’ and Joint Forces Operations,” said Staff Sergeant Mark Groves, Central Alberta District Advisory NCO.
The Central Alberta detachments are reporting decreases in reported crimes in the area.
In 2018, RCMP saw an 11 per cent decrease in criminal code files as well as a 15 per cent decrease in property crimes from the previous year.
The RCMP says property crime has been on the rise in the area since 2014, and this is the first decrease seen since then.
Sergeant Scott Lande, of the CAD Crime Reduction Unit, says the RCMP see the RCMP’s “more impactful investigations” as valuable in reducing the area’s crime stats.
“The recovery of 9 specialty racing bikes in August, stolen from an international racing team in Edmonton or the recovery of two high end Camaros, stolen in September are some of the highlights of 2018. Outcomes like these bring a smile to everyone’s face,” said Lande.
RCMP also worked with groups such as Rural Crime Watch Association and Citizens on Patrol. These partnership is said to be the “eyes and ears of the rural communities” for the RCMP.
The RCMP says the partnership with Rural Crime Watch Association and Citizens on Patrol have led to many arrests and the recovery of stolen property.
The combined two projects netted the below results:
- Number of arrests: 129
- Arrest warrants executed (from several detachments): 113
- Search warrants executed: 10
- Recovered/seized vehicles: 53
- CDSA seizures: 32
- Seized firearms: 13
- Of Note: Other weapons including bear spray, brass knuckles and stun guns were also seized.
- Fresh charges laid by the Crime Reduction Project: 300
- Charges brought forward from other jurisdictions: 320
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