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Chronic offenders a priority for Parkland RCMP

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Crime in the Dauphin area appears to be on a downward trajectory according to a third quarter report provided to area municipal councils by the Parkland RCMP Detachment.
The report, which covers from October to December 2018, shows incidents in most areas decreased when compared to the same time frame the previous year, keeping in line with a 10-year trend identified in numbers from Statistics Canada.
Total calls in the third quarter were 1,287, down from 1,399 over the same time period in 2017, while total calls year-to-date were 4,848, less than the 5,296 the previous year.
However, people should not read too much into those numbers said detachment commander Staff-Sgt. Nolan Suss.
“I wouldn’t get too caught up in that. We have different groups of people like back 2011-2012 where (numbers got boosted up as far as mischiefs and thefts unders ($5,000),” Suss said.
“We found that it changes from time to time with groups who are active.”
The report also identified policing priorities are set annually by area municipal councils.
The priorities for 2018 included a reduction of property crime, increased police visibility and the management of chronic offenders.
“Usually we find the priorities re consistent from year-to-year, people have the same issues,” Suss said.
“Usually the big thing is property crime. It makes people feel unsafe and it is frustrating. And that is consistent between the (urban) and rural councils.”
The Parkland Detachment has worked to meet these priorities firstly through the investigation of reported crimes, which remains at the core of policing. Pro-active activities to combat crime include regular checks to ensure chronic offenders are abiding by court imposed conditions. If they are found breaching conditions they are arrested and sent back to court, the report said.
“The chronic offender thing we found has been helpful, targetting the people who cause the most problems,” Suss added.
“That has gotten their attention and we have heard some of them have left town because they have gotten too much attention. We believe that has head a positive effect in reducing things. But we have new up and comers all the time.”
The report also outlined a recent inititative to combat drug trafficking in the area.
The Parkland, Ste. rose and Winnipegosis detachments all contributed to the operation, which involved the use of undercover operatives to infiltrate local drug trafficking activity. Several search warrants were executed as a result of information obtained during the operation.
“As a result, drugs and guns were taken off the street, drug charges were laid against those involved, as well as the interruption of this gang activity,” the report said.
Such activities are undertaken as part of a set of response priorities.
The first priority is to respond to calls for service in order of seriousness and with concern for public safety.
Secondly officers follow up with ongoing investigations, while the third priority is to manage chronic offenders through regular checks of court imposed conditions.
The fourth priority is proactive traffic enforcement.
“It all depends on what is going on and how many people we have working. Personnel issues do have an effect on what we can do,” Suss said.
Staffing levels and shortages relative to calls for service does affect the amount of time police can devote to the third and fourth priorities, the report said.
Staffing levels have been set at 14 regular municipal members and eight provincial members, but currently sit at 12 municipal officers and seven provincial officers.
The report also deals with the need for strong community support stating, “social media and ‘coffee talk’ often focuses on the negative things that are going on, and that’s quite natural as usually they are significant events. There certainly are negative things that occur in the Parkland area, but there are also a lot of positive activity that should also be noted. There is a high level of co-operation with the various agencies in Dauphin and the Parkland area working together to address community needs such as addressing housing needs, substance abuse issues and helping individuals who are unable to help themselves get the help they need. There are problems in the community, but there are also people working hard to address them. That is something to keep in mind when hearing all of the negative news being shared.”
People wanting to contact police can do so by calling the detachment at 204-622-5020 during regular office hours - Monday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Tuesday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m; Thursday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m; and Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Emergency calls should be directed to 911 while non-emergent calls should be directed to 204-622 5050.