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

West Vancouver Police Department

Description: In 2009, the West Vancouver Police Department developed an evidence-based crime reduction strategy to identify and apprehend the top 10 prolific offenders in West Vancouver, including the Capilano Indian Reserve located within the municipality. The West Vancouver Police Department then works with its justice and social services partners in the community to address the root causes of criminal behaviour, including mental health issues and alcohol and drug abuse. The process also identifies and prioritizes the most vulnerable youth in the community. Police then work with community partners, including school personnel and the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development, to create an effective intervention strategy.
Objective: The objective of this initiative is to reduce crime in West Vancouver while ensuring that prolific offenders are appropriately managed so that the root causes of their behaviour are dealt with appropriately.
Outcomes: The strategy has exceeded expectations. It has been adopted as a best practice by other police services and has become the subject of an academic study within Fraser Valley University. Although policing was the main focus of this initiative, significant economic benefits were also realized. 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. An internal evaluation conducted in conjunction with Dr. Darryl Plecas form the Fraser Valley University found a reduction in recidivism amongst prolific offenders, a reduction in the actual crime rate, increased morale among police officers because of the varied style of work and dramatic improvements in the relationship between the West Vancouver Police Department and the First Nations community.
Resources: To implement this initiative, the West Vancouver Police Department required the services of a crime analyst and paid $30,000 for data-capturing software.
Province: British Columbia
Record Entry Date: 2013-08-01
Date modified: