Property crime cut by two per cent in Chilliwack and beyond with Valley Sweep

The multi-jurisdictional approach of Project Valley Sweep matched the patterns of prolific offenders who roam across the valley



Project Valley Sweep clamped down on prolific property offenders in Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Mission this summer.

The results are in, and Valley Sweep is being credited with a two-per cent drop in overall property crime.

There were 94 arrests, and 54 individuals are now facing 91 criminal and drug-related charges.

The multi-jurisdictional approach matched the patterns of offenders who roam across the valley to commit crimes of opportunity.

“Criminals know no boundaries,” said Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz.

Valley Sweep has been “fabulous” for Chilliwack, collaborating with the other agencies to resolve the spike in property crime, that saw an increase of more than 20 per cent across parts of the valley.

“I’m looking forward to hearing how it changed our communities,” Gaetz said.

Valley Sweep was formed with seven dedicated officers from RCMP detachments in Chilliwack and Mission, as well as the Abbotsford Police Department to focus on prolific offenders for three months, May to July 2016.

The goal was quelling break and enters, auto thefts and thefts from vehicles that had skyrocketed in the valley, and those crimes went down by nine per cent.

Contact was made with 582 prolific and repeat offenders, through street and compliance checks, making sure conditions were being met, curfews maintained and other court-imposed orders followed. They completed 167 vehicle checks.

They obtained solid results, and numerous criminal charges were laid, working in tandem with probation officers and Crown counsel. Crime analysts from the three agencies also played a key role.

Thirty-three offenders were referred to addiction treatment, and four wanted to enter treatment. Charges ranged from breach of conditions, to possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking.

“What we have seen is marked decrease in theft from autos and break and enters,” said Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun.

Mission Mayor Randy Hawes had high praise for the APD and RCMP.

“I would call them the Dream Team. I think we’re going to see a lot safe streets because of it.”

Officials are analyzing the data gathered, but it’s not sure if the Valley Sweep will continue. The “feasibility of further combined enforcement” initiatives is being considered.