In his presentation to Barrington Municipal Council last night, RCMP crime analyst Stephen Carter shared good news about a decline in property crime rates.
Carter is one of five RCMP crime reduction analysts across the province that use data analysis to reduce crime.
Working in Yarmouth, he analyzes crime trends in the Digby, Yarmouth, Shelburne and Lunenburg counties.
Based on an analysis of 2013 figures to date, property crime in Barrington Municipality is at its lowest level in six years. Mischief, which each year comprises almost 50% of the total property offences in the Municipality, is currently well below the average of the previous five years. Break and enters, in particular cottage breaks, are up marginally in Barrington Municipality; this increase is a trend identified throughout the South Shore.
By examining crime data, it is possible to identify the individuals responsible for the majority of the offences as well as to locate key pockets of crime. Referred to as intelligence-led policing, the RCMP uses this information to decide how best to dedicate policing resources. The Barrington RCMP detachment set up checkpoints and targeted patrols, including visits to offenders on house arrest. RCMP also consulted with organizations and businesses in the municipality about how to address crime affecting their community. By being able to limit the amount of crime committed by prolific offenders, those committing the majority of the crimes in the area, has led to a decrease in property crime by 20%.
‘The value of crime analysis is that it aids us in targeting our limited resources on the individuals and areas of crime that will have the most impact,’ says Sgt. MJ Deluco, the Barrington RCMP detachment commander. ‘We are very pleased that these efforts to reduce crime are working.’
This type of crime reduction strategy can also lead to a trickledown effect in neighbouring communities. If police in one area apprehend a prolific offender, it positively affects crime rates in other policing areas where that suspect was also active, or could have become active.