A void was left by the disbandment of the former Regional Crime Unit. It was a void that local West Shore RCMP wanted to do something about. So they created their own unit, the Crime Reduction Unit (CRU), with the intention of targeting and cracking down on repeat offenders.
This new unit is composed of officers specifically designated to targeting prolific offenders. These offenders are individuals who are criminally active and have had a high number of negative contacts with police due to criminal behaviour. This also includes offenders who have a history of committing the same type of crime over and over.
With the assistance of the West Shore RCMP Street Crime Unit, the CRU had its first arrests on Sept. 2. A 32-year-old Langford man and a 30-year-old Langford woman were arrested and are facing numerous charges including possession of stolen property and drug possession after they were found with a a stolen vehicle from the Duncan area that had stolen plates from the Shawnigan Lake area.
The CRU is also making a point of showing off its presence. It conducts regular curfew checks, surveillance, bar walks and is making sure individuals released from custody are abiding by their court mandated conditions.
The CRU will be working closely with key partners such as probation officers, correctional services and crime analysts in order to identify crime trends and hot spots in the West Shore area. The unit will use these partnerships to help form a better understanding of the causes of crime and adopt enforcement and crime prevention strategies.
But the unit is still looking for the public’s help.
“We routinely issue news releases requesting the public’s assistance in helping us solve crime because we know that there are people in the community who know who is responsible for those crimes,” said Sgt. Raj Sandhu, who oversees the Crime Reduction Unit and Street Crime Unit. “We need those individuals to come forward and help us target the small group of individuals who are responsible for the majority of the crimes in the West Shore.”
Anyone with information on a crime can call West Shore RCMP at 250-474-2264 or anonymously via Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.