A new provincial crime reduction unit is helping to bring in chronic offenders accused of crimes in multiple jurisdictions.
The new Central Alberta District Integrated Crime Reduction Unit (ICRU) has been working for three weeks and has already apprehended eight suspects.
One of the first arrests made by the group was in St. Albert when they apprehended Nelson Saulteaux on Red Willow Trail outside of St. Albert Centre.
Saulteaux was charged in relation to an armed robbery that happened in Calmar on Oct. 15 and an arrest warrant was issued. He also faces charges in connection with theft from a liquor store in Stony Plain on Oct. 12 and an armed robbery on Oct. 14 at the By the Way Liquor Store in Millet.
Cpl. Peter MacMillan of the ICRU said the group tracked Saulteaux, who does not live in St. Albert, and learned he was working with associates here.
The team’s focus is on catching people who disobey court orders and who commit crimes while they are convicted or awaiting trial on other crimes.
“[We look for] dangerous and prolific offenders who are out victimizing the general population of society,” MacMillan said.
Many crime reduction strategies and resources are offered to offenders, such as programs through parole, but MacMillan said some offenders do not respond to those programs. The new squad will also target repeat offenders.
The ICRU has picked up multiple offenders in the first few weeks and according to MacMillan it speaks to how important and essential the ICRU is.
“There was definitely a need identified by the district and by the division for a team like this, just to apprehend these people before they get involved in more serious crimes,” MacMillan said.
Although the RCMP share information between each jurisdiction, the ICRU is a new unit to Alberta. MacMillan said that the unit is now part of a “sustainable crime reduction model for the division.”
MacMillan said that he hopes the unit makes people feel safe from crime.
“We want people to feel safe and we want people to feel confident that this kind of stuff isn’t going to happen,” MacMillan said.