Num­bers up for vi­o­lent crimes in the prov­ince

Moose Jaw sees in­crease in as­saults, break-ins in 2016

Moose Jaw Times Herald - - NEWS - SARAH LADIK

“But what we find is that we had trav­el­ling crim­i­nals com­ing through,” he said, cit­ing one in par­tic­u­lar who was in­volved in up­wards of 60 in­ci­dents at campers in sea­sonal re­sorts, be­fore re­cently be­ing con­victed in York­ton. “When some­thing like that hap­pens, it def­i­nitely spikes our prop­erty crime num­bers.”

Schwartz said that while crime rates are multi-de­ter­mined, some of the most com­mon fac­tors are the econ­omy and avail­abil­ity of jobs, as well as ad­dic­tions is­sues. He said that peo­ple get des­per­ate and crimes of op­por­tu­nity — tak­ing items from farm­yards and ve­hi­cles parked in fields, for in­stance — rise along with that des­per­a­tion.

The so­lu­tion, he said, is all about the com­mu­nity.

“What we look at in try­ing to help com­bat that, is look­ing at our com­mu­nity part­ners — the re­gional mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and the vil­lage coun­cils — to get in­for­ma­tion out to the ratepay­ers and the com­mu­nity at large on pro­grams like ru­ral crime watch,” he said. “Ba­si­cally, we need ev­ery­one to help make our com­mu­nity safe. That doesn’t mean take over the role of the po­lice of­fi­cer, but be­ing the eyes and ears for us.”

The de­tach­ment has seen some suc­cesses in this re­spect, with sev­eral cases lead­ing to ar­rests and the re­turn of the stolen prop­erty. He en­cour­aged peo­ple to re­port crimes even when they don’t seem sig­nif­i­cant, as every piece of in­for­ma­tion can be use­ful when it comes to build­ing a case.

Both RCMP and MJPS lead­ers em­pha­sized the im­por­tance of crime preven­tion and work­ing with the com­mu­nity to build re­la­tion­ships. Schwartz said that get­ting out into schools has made a dif­fer­ence in the rates of youth crime in the area, and Bourassa agreed that out­reach is a key part of the job of his po­lice force.

“We try to be as proac­tive as we can be, so we use our crime data to help us know where to fo­cus,” Bourassa said. “We do know that so much of our work has to be in that com­mu­nity build­ing and preven­tion side.”

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