January 31, 2019 12:58 am
Updated: January 31, 2019 1:01 am

RCMP call pilot projects tackling rural crime in central Alberta a success

A file photo of an RCMP cruiser.


The RCMP revealed some figures on Wednesday relating to two recent pilot projects aimed at reducing rural crime in central Alberta.

“The first project launched in the northern region surrounding Wetaskiwin and ran from April 16, 2018 until Aug. 16, 2018,” police said in a news release. “Following that, the Sylvan Lake region was part of the second project and was a joint forces operation with the Lacombe Police Service. It ran from Sept. 1, 2018 through to the end of December 2018 and was also very successful.”

READ MORE: RCMP tout success of Alberta rural crime strategy

Watch below: (From September 2018) The RCMP is releasing its mid-year report card on crime reduction. Sarah Offin reports. 

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According to the RCMP, the two projects resulted in a total of 129 arrests as well as the execution of 113 arrest warrants and 10 search warrants. Officers involved in the projects also recovered or seized 53 vehicles, conducted 32 drug seizures and seized a total of 13 firearms.

The RCMP said the pilot projects also resulted in 300 fresh charges being laid and 320 charges being brought forward from other jurisdictions.

“The success of these two pilot projects makes it clear that our policing approach is making a difference,” Staff Sgt. Mark Groves said. “The intelligence gained through these two projects will be used in 2019 with further short-term teams and joint forces operations.”

READ MORE: Rural crime is at ‘crisis levels’ in Alberta, says Foothills MP

Watch below: (From November 2018) Conservative MP John Barlow is saying not enough is being done to protect rural residents in Alberta. Michael King reports.

Beyond just the two pilot projects, the RCMP said Central Alberta District detachment jurisdictions have shown a decrease in reported crimes. They said Criminal Code files decreased by 11 per cent in 2018 from 2017, while property crimes, which they said had been on the rise since 2014, decreased by 15 per cent in 2018 from 2017.

READ MORE: RCMP partners with community watch groups to deter crime in rural Alberta

“Valuable groups such as Rural Crime Watch Association and Citizens on Patrol continue to work with the RCMP to be the eyes and ears of the rural communities,” the RCMP said. “These partnerships have led to many arrests and the recovery of stolen property.

“The provincial Crime Reduction Unit, based out of the Central Alberta District office, is firmly established and continues to actively operate to support the detachments within central Alberta as well as neighbouring agencies.”

READ MORE: Local leaders, RCMP host forum focusing on rural crime in northern Alberta

Watch below: (From Jan. 27, 2019) Julia Wong reports on a recent community forum that brought leaders together with residents to try to find solutions.

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