SURREY IN FOCUS: Police taking pro-active steps

Surrey RCMP targets prolific offenders, educates the public

Surrey RCMP Cpl. Scotty Schumann.

With violent crime in the city on the rise, the Surrey RCMP’s many ongoing practices are being used to help reduce incidents in the city.

“We have many initiatives in the city that are proactive in the sense that we’re using them to reduce crime, and that can be anything from targeted enforcement to educational campaigns or just engaging the public and trying to mobilize them to make these calls,” said Surrey RCMP Cpl. Scotty Schumann.

Schumann said the Surrey detachment has a “finite number of resources” and tries to use them as efficiently as possible.

“We find the best way to reduce crime is to target the prolific offenders. It’s a small group of people that are committing the majority of the crimes in the city.”

To target the prolific offenders, Surrey RCMP use crime analysts to identify the prolific offenders and then use their targeted enforcement teams to focus on the offenders.

With numerous shootings in recent months, Schumann said the public is calling in to report suspicious activity more often.

“We had an active education campaign called ‘Observe It. Report It’ where we were encouraging the public if they saw suspicious activities, to call it in,” Schumann said.

“By making those reports to intelligence-led policing, it allowed crime analysts to see where crime is trending and where problem areas are developing. Even though a police officer may not attend to your original complaint, the information is still retained on our database system and we are able to direct our enforcement activities.”

Some other initiatives include the Neighbourhood Safety campaign and the High-Risk Location program.

The Neighbourhood Safety campaign gives residents the information they need to mobilize their community and enhance the livability of their neighbourhood. Since the beginning of 2015, Surrey RCMP have held numerous Neighbourhood Safety campaigns throughout communities in the city.

The High-Risk Location project targets the RCMP’s enforcement activities in certain areas to reduce crime.

“Through our crime analysts and partners in the city, we determine what are high-risk locations for offences. So for example, a crack shack or a flop house or a house that just seems to be a hub for criminals that are creating a lot of havoc in the neighbourhood,” Schumann said.

Another program is Car 67, where a police officer and a psychiatric nurse work together to respond to calls when mental illness is involved. It’s a partnership with the Surrey RCMP and the Fraser Health Authority.

“Somebody with a mental health issue may come to the attention of the police, but not because they’re committing crimes. They could be acting out or reported as missing,” Schumann said. “We work with external partners, like psychiatric nurses, and we get those people some assistance so they can deal with their mental health issues.”

 

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