Friday, August 05, 2011

Fredericton crime rate cut by repeat offenders list
(as published by CBC NB News on August 03/11)

Fredericton police say they have knocked down the city's crime rate by using a repeat offenders list to keep a close eye on those most likely to commit crimes.

There has been a 35 per cent drop in thefts this year compared to last year, police say.

Staff Sgt. Brian Ford credits that success to the list, which includes the names of people who have had more than 50 run-ins with the law in the last two years. Police knock on the doors of all those people to make sure they are abiding by court orders, he said.

There are 45 repeat offenders on the list and they are responsible for 87 per cent of the thefts in the city, Ford said, along with many other property crimes such as arson and vandalism.

"We make sure those court orders are enforced," Ford said. "For example, a curfew. We will actually be there checking on these people, their curfews, not just once a night but sometimes twice a night and they get to know us on a first name basis."

The new strategy also gives police a window into who commits what crimes and when, Ford said. "Looking at the [modus operandi] of the suspects gives us a good indication of where our crimes are being committed," he said. "They can even narrow down times that we can expect crimes to be committed, in some instances."

A repeat offender list was first used in the U.K. in 2004 where property crimes also declined by 30 per cent.

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