The Codiac Regional RCMP has identified the top 100 criminals in the greater Moncton area in an attempt to drastically curtail property crime in the New Brunswick city.

Wayne Gallant, superintendent of the Codiac police, told a business audience on Tuesday morning about the new initiative to combat local crime.

Instead of waiting for the calls to come in, Gallant said police officers are on the streets keeping tabs on the city's busiest criminals.

"For 2008 in Codiac, we can say our that our top 15 prolific offenders, those are the ones that are most active in crime in your area, were responsible for 47 per cent of our property-related crime," Gallant said.

"That's a pretty powerful number."

Gallant said a criminal analyst helped the force to identify the top 100 offenders.

Now that the police are armed with these statistics, he said the officers plan their patrols with the list of offenders in mind.

"So what we're doing is we're catching them not necessarily all the time for the break and enters and the robberies. We're catching them for things like breaches of probation, curfew breaches, those sorts of things," he said.

"We keep putting them in the turnstiles of the justice system."

Gallant said since the force brought in this approach, robberies have dropped by 22 per cent, and mischief by 31 per cent

Gallant said keeping offenders off the streets means provincial jails are packed.

The Codiac RCMP superintendent said the provincial government officials have pointed to Moncton-area police force as the reason for recent overcrowding in jails.

Gallant said he understands the pressures but says police are not willing to relent in its fight against crime.

He said his goal is to make Moncton the safest community in Canada and that right now, according to Statistics Canada, Moncton ranks in 10th spot.