Eliminating crime

Eliminating crime

New book looks at the seven essentials to beating back the criminal element

Between 1995 and 2009, school children in Vancouver, Delta and Surrey were being followed on their way home and sexually assaulted.

The attacker was becoming increasingly dangerous, and police feared fatalities were sure to follow.

The three municipalities created a joint operation called Project Scourge which determined it was a single attacker.

During the investigation, the team identified 561 potential suspects, but DNA analysis ruled out all of them.

Two crime analysts, Special Const. Ryan Prox and Sgt. Milena Bruns, began working on the file.

They collected vast amounts of pertinent data – including geographic patterns, cell phone pings from area towers, offenders’ methods and paradigms – and fed them into a geographic program with the Vancouver Police Department.

That was cross referenced with a provincial data gathering system.

In eight weeks, the analysts came up with the name of a man who matched 98 per cent of the necessary criteria.

The role of analysts were still new to policing, but one of them was able to convince senior cops to commit resources to the possible lead.

Surveillance began, and shortly after, police picked up a cup discarded by the suspect.

DNA on the cup was a perfect match to those collected from the crime scenes, and Ibata Hexamer (who eventually pleaded guilty) was arrested.

“Had we not been called in and applied our approach to it, and they stayed with traditional policing investigative techniques on this file, we might not have caught him on the second hit, or the next, or the next,” VPD Special Const. Ryan Prox said in the book. “And he was escalating, he was probably going to kill next… “

The case-in-point for the role of crime analysts is part of a book released this week called Eliminating Crime: The Seven Essential Principals of Police-based Crime Reduction outlines the fundamentals of policing required for our time.

The book is written by criminologists Dr. Irwin Cohen, Dr. Darryl Plecas, Amanda McCormick and Adrienne Peters.

(Cohen is currently reviewing Surrey RCMP’s detachment operations).

The book was published by Surrey Fire Chief Len Garis.

The book echoes what SFU criminologist Rob Gordon told The Leader last week: that more police is not necessarily the answer to crime reduction. Better and more intelligent policing is.

The book recommends police use seven approaches, including being information-led, intelligence-led, focusing on offenders and problems, developing meaningful partnerships, being preemptive and being performance based.

Information-led policing involves hitting prolific offenders hard where they do business. It’s the way Kamloops lowered it’s national crime ranking between 2009 and 2013.

Prolific offenders were tracked down and given three choices: clean up their act, get out of town or go to jail. The approach involves knowing the offenders and the communities where they do their crimes.

“When police are out of touch with or unaware of community concerns, it can result in a lack of support for and confidence in police,” the book states.

Prolific offenders can account for 50 to 75 per cent of crime in a community. So the book recommends focusing on those to most effectively reduce crime.

Instead of waiting for them to commit a crime, pounce on them as soon as they are in breach of a probation order.

Abbotsford has been successful using the strategy, reducing home break and enters by 45 per cent and business break ins by 70 per cent.

Focusing on the problem is also effective, as it was in Surrey when the fire department and bylaws shut down most of Surrey’s marijuana grow operations.

Tracking the homes by their Hydro usage, the teams put a warning on the door saying they would be back to inspect.

Most shut down.

Partnerships are crucial, the book says, pointing squarely at the examples set by Surrey and Vancouver in their work with the mentally ill.

Instead of watching the rotating door of the hospital or jail, Surrey RCMP Const. Taylor Quee worked with health officials to get people the help they needed.

What occurred was a more humane approach to dealing with the mentally challenged, freeing up police resources.

Being pre-emptive means watching crime trends and stopping them before they get out of control. It involves tracking prolific offenders, but also stopping individuals for street checks. Ten per cent of those checks result in arrests and charges.

The book also calls for a performance-based approach to policing, where every move will mean results. The method helps police understand their goals and helps management with deployment and scheduling decisions.

The book also encourages policy makers not to reduce the size of a police force once they see results.

“With few exceptions, the gains made in crime reduction have been achieved by having the necessary resources to deal with current and emerging problems,” the book states.

The 147-page book was released on Monday, and can be downloaded from this web address: http://blogs.ufv.ca/blog/2014/08/new-book-ufv-authors-reveals-key-principles-police-based-crime-reduction/

 

 

Just Posted

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack woman’s 100-km birthday marathon to benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

RCMP investigating June 15, 2021 crash. (Black Press file)
Chilliwack RCMP say crash into median led to impaired driver investigation

Chrysler 300 driver allegedly collided with tree on Spadina median in June 15 incident

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

Abbotsford council has given permission for Chilliwack to use the JAMES wastewater treatment plant for the disposal of trucked liquid waste until the end of September.
Chilliwack gets exemption to Abbotsford bylaw prohibiting liquid waste from other cities

Process in place until September while new facility under construction in Chilliwack

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Bella Bella is on B.C.’s Central Coast, accessible only by air and ocean. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
B.C. provides $22 million for Heiltsuk development on Central Coast

Elders care home project, tourism, lumber mill supported

Most Read