St. Albert has been chosen to pilot an RCMP project that shows residents’ timely tracking of crimes in the community.
The city has been selected as the first municipality to host an interactive online crime map which allows residents to track the crimes that are happening in their neighbourhood.
“The idea behind this is to create the awareness in the community for that neighbourly engagement,” St. Albert Insp. Pamela Robinson said.
Icons are layered on a map of St. Albert to show where crimes have taken place, although due to privacy reasons the exact location of the crime cannot be pinpointed.
Five crime types will be featured on the map, including break and enters, stolen vehicles, missing persons, theft from vehicles and mischief. The RCMP say that these crimes were chosen because these are the crimes that residents have the greatest opportunity to reduce by practising crime prevention strategies. The RCMP is hoping the map will help encourage citizens to report suspicious activity to the police that may help them make arrests.
St. Albert RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Laurel Kading said the map will also help track patterns and trends throughout the community.
“Our community can be aware of property crime trends more readily and hopefully practise crime prevention strategies to prevent these crimes from touching them. We intend to add crime prevention information to the City Crime Map page as time permits,” Kading said.
The map will be managed by the St. Albert RCMP crime analyst and the community policing unit and it will be updated daily. It will log 14 days of crimes in the city.
The project has been in the works since November but the RCMP needed clearance from Ottawa before launching the project to the public. They have had the map functioning for around one month while they worked out the kinks before they launched the project to the public.
The map replaces the previous static crime map that the RCMP published regularly up until 2017, but the city has been without a map for over a year.
After the previous crime analyst left the RCMP they stopped producing the map. Robinson said that she heard from residents that the map was missed. Once the RCMP hired a replacement crime analyst in January they had the tools to begin putting together a replacement map.
The previous map featured crimes over a one month cycle and was published weekly. The new map will be updated daily from Monday to Friday.
The previous crime mapping method will be discontinued with the launch of the new crime map.
The new crime map can be found at www.stalbert.ca/city/maps/rcmp-crime-map.