Evidence-Based Crime Reduction Strategy—Prolific Offender Management (Details)

Name of province/ territory:

British Columbia

City/ Region:

West Vancouver

Description of Initiative:

The majority of our property offences are committed by very few people. We set out to identify the top 10 prolific offenders in our community using a number of factors, and from a number of sources. Then operational plans are initiated in order to apprehend these top offenders and bring them before the courts. We are then committed to working with the various justice and social service partners in order to appropriately deal with the root causes that may have led to the criminal behaviour (e.g., incarceration, probation, drug treatment, mental health, alcohol/drug abuse, etc.).

This process is also used to identify and prioritize the most vulnerable youth in our community so that a plan can be initiated by police to work with partners in order to create an effective intervention strategy. A team consisting of police officers, school personnel, and the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development will case study these at-risk youth on a regular basis in order to identify new cases and to monitor the success of current cases.

The West Vancouver Police Department (WVPD) crime reduction strategy forms the basis of the department’s 2011-2013 Strategic Plan.

Initiative Key Objectives:

To reduce crime within our community while ensuring that prolific offenders are appropriately managed so the root causes of their behaviour are appropriately dealt with.

Section Responsible for Implementation:

Patrol, Plain Clothes Units, Community Liaison Unit, Traffic Unit

Key Contact:

Shane Barber

Groups/ Agencies/ Key Partners Involved:

  • community groups
  • other police services
  • private agencies/corporations
  • other government departments/agencies
  • academic institutes (research and evaluation)

Level of Involvement (consultative - information sharing) and/or cooperative - direct involvement):

Both consultative and cooperative. Our crime reduction strategy may often suggest that the WVPD is not or should not be the lead in addressing the factors that lead to criminal outcomes. The adage is that sometimes you simply cannot arrest your way out of a problem. In those instances, the WVPD may prove to be a key partner but we may not be the appropriate solution for the problem at hand. The WVPD will then work with the appropriate partners to help them implement their own strategy.

Amount of Time Initiative has been in Place:


Reason for Undertaking the Initiative:

It was undertaken in order to succeed at our primary mandate as a police service. There were significant economic benefits that resulted from our efforts.

Resources Required to Implement this Initiative:

An additional human resource (crime analyst) as well as software materials to capture data information ($30,000).

Method of Implementation:

The strategy was implemented as a full-scale operational process, monitored by our crime analyst, with an accountability framework through a COMPSTAT process.

Key Outcomes of the Initiative:

The initiative exceeded expectations. As a result, the WVPD model is used as a best practice by other police agencies, has become the subject of an academic study within Fraser Valley University, and the project and results will be presented at the International Police Executive Symposium in New York in August 2012.

The police service is able to operate more efficiently by performing policing functions strategically with fewer police officers. The evidence-based policing strategy offers the community value for tax dollars by reducing the number of thefts and the actual crime rate, as well as improving perceptions regarding crime in the community.

Availability of a Communication Strategy:


Key Messages used to Publicize the Initiative:

  • The citizens of West Vancouver are well serviced through an evidence-based policing strategy that also takes into account crime perception in addition to actual crime, which adds value for their tax dollars.
  • The WVPD is entrenched in an integrated policing environment with other police agencies within Metro Vancouver that has a net benefit to the community of West Vancouver.
  • Not all crime problems are policing problems. Effective solutions can also be found through police services provided by other agencies.

Forms of Evaluation by which the Initiative will be Assessed:

  • formative
  • summative
  • internal
  • external
  • quantitative
  • qualitative
  • social return on investment

Evaluation Completed or Community Feedback Received:


Summary of the Outcomes:

An internal evaluation conducted in conjunction with Dr. Darryl Plecas from the Fraser Valley University found that:

  • recidivism amongst prolific offenders is reduced;
  • actual crime has gone down at a rate that is statistically plausible (hence the external academic studies);
  • morale within the department amongst operational members has increased because of the varied style of work; and
  • the relationship between the WVPD and members of the First Nations community is dramatically enhanced.

Summary of the Performance Measure Data Collected:


Economics of Policing Pillars:

Further Details:

  • At a time when other police services have continually seen pressures to increase resources, the WVPD has been able to hold the line on resources for the last four years.
  • By leveraging technology used by our analyst, we operate in intelligence-led and evidence-based policing which has allowed the WVPD to use this analytical approach to all aspects of our police services delivery. Crime rates have gone down, while solve rates have increased.
  • It has redefined the core policing work environment for our patrol section transforming it from what is traditionally a reactive policing mandate to one that incorporates a strong proactive approach at the patrol level.
  • Through increased engagement of community members and other agencies, a more enhanced collaborate approach to reducing crime and increasing safety has created tremendous support for the police service. If they help build it, they will execute it.
  • The partnership with Crown counsel as the WVPD attempts to appropriately manage prolific offenders has seen a reduction of pressures on court time. This is the subject of a more comprehensive justice reform initiative being considered by the Minister of Justice.

Additional Comments or Suggestions:


Record Entry Date:


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