RCMP provide information on monitoring protests
If you’re planning a protest, don’t be surprised if the Pictou County RCMP are monitoring.
Last month, RCMP reported 16 occurrences in a new category — crime prevention — in their monthly report to Pictou Town Council.
According to the report, crime prevention refers both to officer activities pertaining to housearrests, as well as “gathering information on planned protests or possible civil unrest.”
“It’s something that we’ve always been doing, but we thought it was important that we break that particular stat out on its own, so that the town has a better idea of the activities of the police,” said Pictou County District RCMP Cpl. Greg Deagle.
Deagle couldn’t say what percentage of last month’s occurrences of crime prevention were related to planned protests, but there are usually one or two a month.
“We work closely with the people involved on both sides. Some people are more public than others, and some of it is opensourced information,” he said. “A lot of it is posted online.”
With that information, Deagle said officers then plan their presence at the event accordingly. This kind of presence could include unmarked cars and officers in civilian clothes.
“There would be times when maybe a fully marked police car, or an officer in full uniform might do more to stir up the crowd than to keep the crowd at a calm level,” he said. “All we want to do is maintain public safety, that’s the main priority.”