Edmonton police target Belvedere streets
Inner-city anti-crime initiative moves to north Edmonton neighbourhood
City police took its community crime-fighting initiative out of the inner city and moved into a north Edmonton neighbourhood Wednesday.
Taking the Community Action Team (CAT) to Belvedere north of the downtown is a shift in tactics, said Chief Rod Knecht.
"We've gone to north Edmonton as opposed to right downtown because this is a high-risk community," he said.
"This is one of the communities our intelligence tells us that violent crime is on the rise since 2008 particularly in the area of sexual assaults and assaults."
The strategy involves police officers and community members working together to prevent crime and tackle social disorder issues.
Each month a team of about 40 officers flood the streets of a targetted community.
"We're very happy to see it come to our community," said Mike Kleparchuk, Belvedere community league president.
"Visually it shows residents that EPS is actively involved in reducing crime in community leagues such as ours."
"It's also a reminder that community leagues members have to get involved."
Knecht believes the anti-crime strategy is paying off.
"We've been able to take a lot of homeless folks off the street," he said. "We've been able to deal with some of the prostitution issues."
"We've taken some protsitutes off the street that were being victimized either by pimps or other people."
The program will run every month until August when it will be evaluated.