Crime reduction teams established in P.A., North Battleford

Crime generally dropped in the province for 2017, though rural crime and gun violence was on the rise, according to a Statistics Canada report released July 23, 2018. (Daily Herald file photo)

The province’s two, new, full-time crime reduction teams (CRT)s are now fully operational — one in Prince Albert and one in North Battleford.

The CRTs are conducting high-intensity, targeted enforcement in areas identified as crime hotspots. According to a press release, they conduct intelligence-led policing, including warrant executions, high-visibility traffic stops, tracking chronic offenders and tacking gang activity.

The teams deployed together in North Battleford from Sept. 29 until Oct. 3. They executed 18 arrest warrants for 51 Criminal Code charges, arresting 27 people, laying 25 new Criminal Code charges and conducted 44 traffic stops resulting in four tickets, 21 warnings and a pair of suspensions.

Both of the teams are prepared to deploy wherever they are most needed. They are each made up of seven full-time members along with one crime analyst and a support/admin position.

“Communities, where the CRT has deployed, have told us the increased police presence was both visible and appreciated,” said Insp. Tammy Patterson, Officer in Charge – Crime Reduction/Crime Prevention Unit in a press release.

“People are noticing an impact and feel their communities are safer for it. We look forward to seeing what more the CRTs can accomplish in the weeks and months ahead.”

The CRT initiative came out of targeted enforcement initiatives started in 2017 addressing serious and violent crime in areas where community safety was identified as a concern.

The RCMP F Division, citing positive results, conducted a three-month trial run from February to April 2018. The results from that trial and provincial government support led to the decision to establish two full-time CRTs.

“The CRT is designed to enhance – not replace – the enforcement, investigation and community safety work already being done by our detachments to ensure a coordinated response to rural crime,” the RCMP said in a press release.

“The Crime Reduction Team (CRT) initiative has helped to improve safety in Saskatchewan communities, which is a priority for the Government,” added Correction and Policing Minister Christine Tell.

“We are proud to support the RCMP and to work with them on strategies that aim to stop crime.”