New RCMP unit focuses on property crime, repeat offenders in central Alberta
Decreasing property crime and catching repeat offenders is the focus of a new RCMP group in the central Alberta area. Mounties from participating detachments are working together in the newly formed Integrated Crime Reduction Unit (ICRU).
The aim is to identify and arrest criminals who have the biggest impact on communities and work towards disrupting their ongoing illegal activity, police said.
“This ICRU is doing what police already do — except that their sole focus is on targeting prolific offenders, active primarily in property crimes,” RCMP Cpl. Laurel Scott explained.
“We know that a majority of crimes are completed by a small number of people,” she said. “This is a focused crime-reduction strategy, geared to increasing our clearance rate for property crimes and decreasing the crime rate for targeted offences.”
The province has several task forces that focus on specific types of crime, such as Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT).
“This is similar to ALERT, however ALERT is operating at a larger scale with several different partner agencies throughout the province, and ALERT’s focus is not so much on property crimes,” Scott explained.
ALERT is a provincially funded agency that investigates serious and organized crime in Alberta, including child exploitation, drug trafficking, and gang violence. Members include Alberta Sheriffs, Calgary Police Service, Edmonton Police Service, Lethbridge Police Service, Medicine Hat Police Service and RCMP.
“This ICRU is currently only RCMP members and is located centrally,” Scott said.
On Monday, the ICRU carried out one of its first targeted arrests. Mitchell Sydlowski, 26, was wanted by police on outstanding warrants in Devon and Stony Plain.
He was arrested in Devon and faces several charges, including theft under $5,000, possession of property obtained by crime, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, taking a motor vehicle without consent, and failing to comply with condition of undertaking or recognizance.
RCMP released the information in hopes of generating new tips on other prolific offenders.
“If anyone has information about suspicious activity, or people who they feel are involved in suspicious activity, we want you to call your local RCMP detachment and help us out,” Cpl. Peter MacMillan of the ICRU said.
A bail hearing took place and Sydlowski was kept in custody until his next court appearance on Wednesday in Leduc.
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