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Chief Keith McCaskill 'There's got to be an ability to get them off the street'

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 15/12/2009 (3823 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

WINNIPEG Police Service Chief Keith McCaskill said the fatal crash highlights officers' struggles to combat car thieves. He'd like to see some young offenders do more time behind bars.

The Winnipeg Auto Theft Suppression Strategy has about 130 to 135 Level 3 and 4 offenders, who are deemed at highest risk to reoffend.

Police, probation officers and dedicated auto theft Crown attorneys monitor the youths to ensure they are meeting restrictions like curfews.

Six people are required to wear electronic monitoring bracelets.

All three suspects police believe were involved in the Dec. 11 fatal crash are chronic car thieves well-known in the Winnipeg legal community.

McCaskill said judges should be handing out stiffer sentences in some cases where people are "continuously committing crimes" like repeat car theft.

"The first thing has to be public safety. When they're stealing cars and serious things like this are occurring... there's got to be an ability to get them off the street and make sure the public is safe," he said.

"When that doesn't happen, tragedies can occur."

Tactics like electronic bracelets help authorities crack down on some repeat car thieves, but aren't a silver bullet, the chief said.

"Police officers right across the board would certainly support giving treatment for these young people to straighten out, but there comes a point... where we have take a very, very strong stance on these people and they have to be taken off the street."

-- Gabrielle Giroday

Keith McCaskill

Keith McCaskill

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