Coquitlam RCMP Crime Reduction Strategy
Coquitlam RCMP's Crime Reduction Strategy (CRS) began in 2005 as part of a province-wide Crime Reduction Initiative coordinated by "E" Division, the RCMP's headquarters in BC. The challenge for pilot sites was to take the crime reduction philosophy; which has been successfully applied since the late 1990s and early 2000s in jurisdictions such as the United Kingdom and New Zealand; and make it work at the local level.
Crime reduction approaches are based on close partnerships between police, academics, government and community groups to find effective, long-term resolutions to local crime and disorder problems. Each partner uses their mandate and resources strategically and all partners work together towards the common goal of having the biggest possible impact on crime and safety in the community. In our jurisdiction, that means focusing on the three tenets of crime reduction:
Every year our crime analysts review police files to find out who has had the most negative contact with police over the past two years. Next, they figure out which crime types those individuals are most involved in and what relationship or lifestyle factors may be keeping them active.
The aim of our CRS is to reduce crime and disorder by focusing on the people that are responsible for most of it. The key to the success of our CRS is developing intelligence about prolifics. Knowing who they are, what they do and what relationships and lifestyle factors keep them criminally active has made us extremely effective at tracking and targeting the people and their activities.
As part of our CRS, we monitor crime and calls for service throughout our jurisdiction and map that activity to identify crime hotspots.
Once a hotspot has been identified the officers, civilian staff and volunteers in our crime prevention programs take the lead in identifying any crime attractors in the area and working with our partners and the community to address them using a range of tactics. For instance, enforcement projects may be an option depending on the root issues identified. However, some hotspots may be eliminated through tactics like community outreach and education about crime prevention.
Crime causation factors include the street level social issues (i.e., substance abuse, undiagnosed or improperly managed mental health issues and homelessness) that contribute to the criminal activity of prolific offenders as well as the environmental and design factors (i.e., limited visibility, poor lighting or poorly maintained premises) that help create crime hotspots.
While all of these factors have an impact on police workload, they are beyond our capacity to resolve. By including crime causation factors our CRS encourages our officers, staff and volunteers to be innovative and work together with public safety partners that have the mandate, capacity and expertise to help tackle the root causes of crime.
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