Project Valley Sweep has been taking a coordinated approach to monitoring repeat property crime offenders — and it’s working according to early results.
“People may not be aware of how we are collaborating on this,” said Mayor Sharon Gaetz, about Project Valley Sweep.
“We know that crime doesn’t stop at our municipal borders, so working together only makes sense.”
A dedicated unit of officers from Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Mission was created in April and dispatched across the region to target property crime in an intensive way.
In the first three weeks of the Valley Sweep project, officers checked 160 people from a list of repeat offenders, and made 34 arrests.
The team’s work netted 21 new criminal charges, with the help of probation officers and Crown counsel.
Repeat and prolific offenders were the steely-eyed focus, with 38 of them undergoing curfew checks, to ensure compliance with any conditions.
The Valley Sweep is led by seven officers from the three enforcement agencies, and crime stats analysis will play a big role in the project.
Three cities combined (Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Mission) have been seeing the same types of crimes on the rise, year over year from 2014 to 2015, thefts of autos (35%) thefts from autos (28%) and break and enters (20%).
RCMP Superintendent Deanne Burleigh, Officer in Charge of the Upper Fraser Valley Regional Detachment which includes Chilliwack, said police are taking the spike in property crimes seriously.
“We are overtly targeting property crime offenders as part of our commitment to keeping our citizens and their property safe,” she said when the project was announced.
The joint nature of the operation, she added, is because police have noted offenders travelling between communities, committing crime or dealing in stolen goods.
There’s a long term vision behind the Valley Sweep project, and those arrested were all offered help to break free from addiction patterns that impact the offenders, as well as entire communities.