Mounties say rural crime reduction units already having an impact

Across the province, the four units combined have made 263 arrests, executed 253 warrants and laid 1,227 charges.

Alberta's commanding officer reports 1,227 charges laid since units formed this year

Deputy Commissioner Todd Shean says it's early but they're already seeing results from the new crime reduction units. (Justin Pennell/CBC)

The RCMP says the newly formed Southern Alberta Crime Reduction Unit has already proved successful.

The unit, one of four now operating across the province, was formed in February and is tasked with targeting repeat offenders in rural areas. 

Deputy Commissioner Todd Shean, the commanding RCMP officer in Alberta, says the southern Alberta unit has been responsible for 30 arrests and has laid 234 charges. 

Across the province, the four units combined have made 263 arrests, executed 253 warrants and laid 1,227 charges. 

"That ratio of charges resulting from only 263 arrests is reflective of the type of criminal our CR units are targeting — repeat offenders who are responsible for the majority of the crime in the province," he said. 

According to the RCMP, property crime in southern Alberta has decreased by eight per cent in a year-over-year comparison for the period between January and April. 

Government and civilian support

The units are supported with additional funds from the provincial government, which stepped forward with $10 million in March. 

"Across the province, crime reduction units are arresting repeat offenders, laying charges and recovering stolen property," said Kathleen Ganley, the minister of justice and solicitor general of Alberta. "This important work will continue."

The units are supported by intelligence gathering and civilian staff who help take some time consuming work out of the hands of frontline officers, with the hope that those hours will be spent investigating criminal activity. 

Information is also shared across a range of partners, including Alberta sheriffs, fish and wildlife, commercial vehicle enforcement and conservation officers.

"These are early results, but I believe they are clear signs that a co-ordinated and intelligence approach to policing will continue to work in this province," said Shean.