RCMP pro­vide in­for­ma­tion on mon­i­tor­ing protests

The News (New Glasgow) - - PICTOU COUNTY - BY BREN­DAN AH­ERN

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.”

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