Edmonton Police, along with social agencies, are hitting the streets in the downtown neighbourhood of McCauley in a unique effort to fight crime.

Police launched the first Community Action Team, Wednesday.

"We won’t ignore any problems," said Deputy Chief Neil Dubord. "We want to deal with every social disorder problem that we within the community and look for the root cause."

The team of ten or more officers will focus on a specific troubled neighbourhoods not only to curb crime, but also to build trust with people in the community, he said.

Officers will patrol the neighbourhood primarily on foot but also in two cruisers painted with the new black-and-white colour scheme, which police hope will make the cars more identifiable.  

Violent crime in McCauley is 10 times the city average, property crime five times the average and child welfare cases three times.

"Right from graffiti, to the discarded couches in the area, to the garbage that’s strewn to public intoxication," said Dubord. "our idea is to intervene, connect these people with the social agencies…and hopefully be able to resolve some of these issues long term."

Some of the problems could be prevented if cheap and highly potent alcohol was harder to get, said Const. Chapman Lee.

Lee wants residents and business people to convince liquor store owners to limit those products, or charge more for them when selling them late at night.

"I think you'll see a reduction in a lot of disorder, said Lee. "If we didn't have any of that stuff sold here you wouldn't have such a concentration of intoxicated people here all the time."

Chapman says a similar program in the 118th Avenue area has helped reduce crime by limiting the sale of knives and drug paraphernalia.