Crime Reduction Rollout (Details)

Name of province/ territory:

British Columbia

City/ Region:

British Columbia

Description of Initiative:

In 2005, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in British Columbia (BC) began a comprehensive crime reduction strategy focused on prolific offenders and crime “hot spots” in the following six pilot sites: Fraser Lake, Maple Ridge / Pitt Meadows, Coquitlam / Port Coquitlam, Courtney/Comox, Port McNeill and Penticton. Prior to the implementation of this strategy, the RCMP had extensively researched the United Kingdom model.

Five years after the introduction of the initial crime reduction strategy, crime rates in the six crime reduction detachment test sites fell substantially. In 2009, the RCMP in BC began a division-wide rollout of crime reduction training. In 2010, crime reduction coordinators were established in all detachments. In that same year, all detachments in the province had crime reduction strategies embedded in their annual performance plans. Each crime reduction coordinator oversaw both the implementation of crime reduction initiatives and complementary crime prevention strategies. They also worked with partner agencies in managing prolific and social chronic offenders, identifying root causation of crime, creating effective partnerships in the community and implementing problem-solving approaches to reduce and prevent crime.

In 2012, an online accreditation course in Crime Reduction / Crime Prevention was developed for frontline police officers and employees. This course enhanced a variety of skill sets such as the identification of problem areas through intelligence-led policing. Course participants also extensively used their PRIME data to develop crime reduction operational plans to address the problem(s) facing their respective communities in 2012-2013.

Initiative Key Objectives:

The crime reduction strategy is an important approach for the RCMP in BC's service delivery model. It has multiple goals:

  • drive down the crime rate through a sustainable decline in the rate of repeat offences;
  • increase confidence in the justice system as the police work to keep communities safe;
  • build effective partnerships and sustainable initiatives that prevent and reduce crime; and
  • effectively "case manage" shared clients and long-term problems in partnership with other government agencies.

To achieve these goals, the crime reduction approach is characterized by three strategies:

1. evidence-based service delivery;
2. results-based accountability; and
3. formal partnerships (e.g., Crown, Corrections, Health, Social Services).

Section Responsible for Implementation:

'E' Division Crime Prevention Services / Crime Reduction Coordinator in each detachment (see "Additional Comments or Suggestions" for more details)

Key Contact:

Derrick Gravelle

Groups/ Agencies/ Key Partners Involved:

  • community groups
  • other police services
  • other government departments/agencies
  • academic institutes (research & evaluation) - consultative (information sharing)
  • Provincial Corrections

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


Amount of Time Initiative has been in Place:

The initiative has been in place since 2005. It was initially operational at six BC pilot sites. Every detachment in BC now has a crime reduction strategy that focuses on prolific offenders, social chronic offenders, hot spots, high crime areas and specific crimes that need to be addressed.

Reason for Undertaking the Initiative:

Crime reduction is a natural progression of policing. Former RCMP Deputy Commissioner Gary Bass visited the United Kingdom (UK) in 2005 to review its efforts toward crime reduction. After his review, the Province of BC recognized the benefits of the UK model and moved to implement crime reduction in BC. The BC model focused on a coordinated approach to managing prolific offenders in and out of custody and building public confidence in an integrated criminal justice system using evidence-based practices.

Resources Required to Implement this Initiative:

There is a significant commitment of human resource costs involved in the establishment of crime analyst positions (estimates not available).

Method of Implementation:

This initiative began as a pilot project and then expanded across the province. As the initiative expanded, trained crime reduction coordinators were established at each detachment. Some detachments then supported their crime reduction strategies with crime analysts who identify crime and offender trends. Crime reduction coordinators also expanded their efforts by developing sustainable initiatives to reduce and prevent crime in consultation with their communities.

Key Outcomes of the Initiative:

Crime reduction efforts have realized significant reductions in property offences. There has also been an increase in the integrated case management of repeat offenders with non-police agencies. The cooperation of all agencies within the communities has led to continuous innovative prolific offender and social chronic offender management strategies. Ultimately, this cooperative effort and much more targeted approach has been very effective in reducing crime.

Availability of a Communication Strategy:


Key Messages used to Publicize the Initiative:

While messages of specific crime reduction outcomes and details are related to a detachment’s local customization and implementation of the strategy, there are several broad program key messages that can be incorporated into communications with target audiences, including the following:

  • The crime reduction strategy is just that—a strategy—a proven blueprint to reduce crime. Ultimately, every community and detachment in the province will take the basic principles of the strategy and customize those principles to local needs in consultation with frontline police officers and community leaders.
  • Practically speaking, the crime reduction strategy will see an increase in fast-response, integrated crime reduction teams who will be assigned flexible shifts that allow them to use daily crime data to go after targeted repeat offenders and identified crime hot spots. However, this highly targeted, proactive policing will not take away from activities related to community policing, community harm reduction programs, fear reduction and general public safety programs.
  • Crime reduction strategies enable a flexible approach to specific crime trends and encourage police managers to quickly provide resource-intensive responses to those trends.

Forms of Evaluation by which the Initiative will be Assessed:

  • external

Evaluation Completed or Community Feedback Received:


Summary of the Outcomes:

Elements of the crime reduction strategy, such as prolific offender management, have been evaluated by Simon Fraser University's Health Sciences Department (led by researcher Dr. Julian Somers). He concluded that recidivism rates declined substantially amongst prolific offenders in five RCMP communities in BC. Those communities are Nanaimo, Prince George, Kamloops, Surrey and Williams Lake. Moreover, Dr. Somers determined that there was a significant cost savings to a number of government agencies and services resulting from a break in the cycle of re-offending. Furthermore, there have been significant reductions in property crimes—ranging from 25-60% across the province.

This strategy also reduces duplication of services through a multi-agency approach which addresses individual needs and crime problems much more effectively. Ultimately, this coordinated approach reduces the financial and fiscal resources used by individual agencies for each client. Most importantly, it reduces the number of victims in our communities and enhances community wellness and safety.

Summary of the Performance Measure Data Collected:


Economics of Policing Pillars:

Further Details:


Additional Comments or Suggestions:

Overall implementation and coordination of the provincial crime reduction strategy is the responsibility of 'E' Division Crime Prevention Services. Each RCMP detachment in BC has a crime reduction coordinator who is responsible for the respective detachment’s crime reduction strategy. Each detachment’s crime reduction strategy is tailored to the community crime data and the offenders who consume the highest police and partner agency resources. More specifically, each strategy addresses local crime hot spots and high-crime areas, and uses problem-solving partnerships to reduce and prevent crime.

Record Entry Date:


Date modified: