By Justin Seward
Redcliff RCMP acting detachment commander Cpl. Al Rivard updated Redcliff town council on community priorities and local statistics for quarter two of 2021 on Nov. 22.
Priority one is police visibility.
“COVID continues to hinder our ability to engage with our community. However, each Redcliff member has taken on the role of a school liaison/ school resource officer,” said Rivard.
“Officers have taken ownership of one of the Redcliff schools and have introduced themselves to each schools administrative teams. The members have not been able to enter the schools to engage with the students but have been able to speak with them after school or during lunch while the kids are outside.”
Rivard had presented at the South Eastern Alberta Rural Crime Watch AGM in September— which had a high attendance from citizens throughout Cypress County and Redcliff.
“A continued emphasis will be placed on the Redcliff RCMP to promote community relations,” said Rivard.
The second priority is enhanced road safety and Redcliff RCMP has continued to partner with Redcliff traffic services, Alberta sheriffs, and the Community Peace Officer in joint force operations.
“In the second quarter of 2021, the Redcliff RCMP have committed to enhanced school zone patrols during the morning and afternoon school times. These efforts have reduced traffic complaints in school zones,” he said.
RCMP has noticed that prolific property crime offenders have decreased.
“The prolific offenders in Redcliff are starting to drop and we’re keeping a tight leash on the ones we do have here,” said Rivard.
“We’re often out doing curfew checks, conditions checks, making sure these people are abiding by their curfews, that they’re not abusing substances (and) trying to be good people in society. I think it’s been successful.”
It is due to the close working relationship between the detachment, Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team’s (ALERT) Regional Property Crime Unit (RPCU) that investigations are efficient and effective, resulting in charges being laid.
“Most recently in the second quarter, Redcliff RCMP investigated a string of break and enters to local businesses. Through the hard work of our members, two individuals were identified and charges were laid. The investigation also resulted in the recovery of over $100,000 dollars,” he said.
Redcliff RCMP and ALERT RPCU have recently implemented the bait asset/vehicle program in the local area and have seen success.
The program led to charges from tampering of a motor vehicle under the Traffic Safety Act to theft of a motor vehicle under the Criminal Code.
“Assets used range from Ford F350 trucks to bicycles,” said Rivard.
The bait program will be used in the foreseeable future.
“Redcliff RCMP continues to see a steady decline in criminal offences compared with the same time period (as) last year,” said Rivard.
There has been a 26 % decrease in criminal offences that have been reported, crimes against persons have dropped 28 %—including a 44% decrease in spousal abuse—and property crimes fell 23%.
Rivard compared Redcliff statistics to the rest of southern Alberta where from January to September this year compared to the same time period in 2020, is that the town is down 21% in crime, persons crime is down 8%, property crime has decreased 19% and other criminal code charges are down 41%, six fewer break and enter and two fewer theft and motor vehicles.
For southern Alberta, there is an overall 5 % decrease in crime, a 6 % in persons crime and a one per cent increase in criminal code.