On April 16th I attended the community forum on crime prevention at Elmwood High School. The forum was put on by the Winnipeg Police Services for the community. Police chief Devon Clunis was in attendance to hear the issues and concerns brought forward by residents.
I was very pleased to see that the chief of police was willing to respond to the questions that were on the minds of citizens, whether they were about gang activity or youth crime. I was also impressed that chief Clunis was willing to model his own call to his officers to have a greater presence in the community.
Since chief Clunis was appointed, he has been actively working to find new ways to combat crime in the city. In a short period of time chief Clunis has reinvigorated the police service and redirected resources and services to priority areas. This approach is already bearing fruit in terms of reducing crime.
The Winnipeg Police Service is using the latest policing techniques in order to respond to how criminal activity has changed over the years. One of these techniques is to use an intelligence-based policing model.
This involves doing an analysis of data to determine criminal patterns which, in turn, allows the police to predict where their services will be in demand the most. Once the ‘hotspots’ of crime are identified the police are able to focus their resources on these high value targets, thwart criminal activity, and make arrests.
At the same time as the police are doing this high-level activity, they have also committed to having a greater presence in our community. The purpose of this is two-fold. This increased presence acts as a deterrent to criminal activity, since the criminal element likes to operate in seclusion, and avoid being caught. This presence also encourages relationships and trust to be built within the community, which allows for the exchange of information about possible criminal activity and, at the same time, creates a perception of a safe neighborhood where citizen reclaim their community.
I look forward to working with the community, chief Clunis, and the Winnipeg Police Service as we work together to reduce crime in the area and create a safe and healthy place to live, work, play and grow.