September 10, 2020
Ms. Michelaine Lahaie
Civilian Review and Complaints Commission
for the RCMP
P.O. Box 1722, Station "B"
Dear Ms. Lahaie:
I acknowledge receipt of the Commission's report, Review of the RCMP's Crime Reduction-Type Units, in accordance with subsection 45.34(1) of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act.
I have completed my review of the findings and recommendations set out in the Commission's report on this specified activity.
I will start with the last recommendation first, as it will inform subsequent portions of my response. It was recommended that the RCMP should develop a national policy regarding the operations of its crime reduction units. A comprehensive national policy has been in place since September 2019; Operational Manual Chapter 16.3 "Crime Reduction Policy" refers. The policy provides information on crime reduction strategies and activities as well as guidance on offender management, crime trends and hot spots, and collaborative partnerships and referrals. The policy defines the roles and responsibilities of the Criminal Intelligence Analysts/Crime Analysts, detachments, the divisional crime reduction coordinator, and National Crime Prevention Services.
I agree, in part, with the finding that the RCMP lacks a mechanism to share, across divisions, good practices that have been developed for crime reduction units in some locations. Although there was no formal mechanism for sharing of best practices, there has always been sharing of best practices through informal means, within and between divisions.
While there are examples of crime reduction units exchanging information and assisting other detachments or divisions in the establishment of their own Crime Reduction Units, the RCMP did not have a systemic approach to facilitate the sharing of best practices, until the publication of the Crime Prevention Policy (Operational Manual Chapter 16.3) and the creation of the "Rural Crime Reduction Toolbox".
This Crime Reduction Policy specifies that National Crime Prevention Services in RCMP Contract and Indigenous Policing is responsible for liaising with divisional crime prevention coordinators and providing appropriate support, maintaining awareness of national crime prevention and crime reduction programs and related initiatives, and sharing best practices.
The RCMP has also created a "Rural Crime Reduction Toolbox" as a central repository of initiatives from all the divisions and accessible to all RCMP employees on our intranet. This toolbox is updated on a quarterly basis to ensure the information reflects the current initiatives and best practices.
The RCMP will also consider establishing regular meetings of the Crime Reduction Unit [CRU] representatives to facilitate the sharing of best practices and expertise.
I do acknowledge that there is always room to improve. In that regard, I support the recommendation that the RCMP should explore the benefits of its crime reduction units exchanging information regarding their good practices. The sharing of best practices is the role of National Crime Prevention Services as noted in section 7.4. of the Crime Reduction Policy.
I agree with the finding that the use of criminal intelligence analysts and business analysts in conjunction with crime reduction units varies considerably across divisions and districts. In some cases, the value of the criminal intelligence analyst program and business analysts is not leveraged to the extent that it could be.
Civilian criminal analysts continue to play a vital role in the successful implementation of crime reduction strategies by supporting the work of the CRUs, detachments and districts. Through analysis of crime data, these analysts provide timely and pertinent information relative to crime patterns and trends that can be actioned by members immediately.
National Crime Reduction Policy section 7.1. explains the analyst roles and responsibilities as follows:
- Evaluating the effectiveness of, and steering operational priorities for, both enforcement and prevention;
- Working with internal contacts to identify and steer multi-jurisdictional strategies for crime reduction and prevention;
- Researching and developing reporting tools for internal and external partners and stakeholders;
- Developing and implementing analytical techniques and products for enforcement, disruption, and prevention, including but not limited to geo-spatial analysis/crime maps, association charts, criminal profiles, and time lines; and
- Participating in internal and external offender management programs.
This should assist the divisions and districts in standardizing the use of criminal intelligence analysts/crime analysts across the divisions and more effectively capitalize on the strength of the CRUs.
As such, I support the recommendation the RCMP should share best practices across divisions and districts about the manner in which criminal intelligence analysts and business analysts are employed in order to more effectively capitalize on a strength of the CRU program. I will direct that National Crime Prevention Services work with their counterparts in the divisions to achieve this objective.
I agree, in part, with the finding that the RCMP lacks a systematic approach on the question of effective partnering with non-police organizations to aid in crime reduction initiatives and programs. Partnership is one of the four key components to a successful crime reduction strategy. There are excellent examples from across the country of partnering with crown prosecutors, probation services, healthcare providers, mental health crisis units, family and social services, community groups, Crime Stoppers, and many more.
As noted in the report, there are many other examples of the effective partnerships between CRUs and local agencies. Working with partners requires continuous effort to keep the relationship strong. There are cases when transfers of personnel resulted in changes to the relationships with external partners. To minimize the impact of personnel changes on existing partnerships and encourage new partnerships, the Crime Reduction Policy recommends the creation and maintenance of an inventory of local external agencies as part of any crime reduction strategy. These organizations can include relevant government agencies, community service providers, vulnerable citizens and their advocates, engaged citizens, and other organization within the community.
Further, as part of the offender management strategy, the Crime Reduction Policy directs the RCMP partnering with government agencies, such as probation services, parole boards and local community service agencies to support the rehabilitation of prolific offenders.
Even though there has been and continues to be great work done with many partners, there is still room to improve. I support the recommendation that the RCMP's crime reduction initiatives and programs should explore a more comprehensive approach to coordination and cooperation with external partners. Section 6 of the Crime Reduction Policy outlines Collaborative Partnerships and Referrals.
I agree with the finding that, although there is no national level training, the divisional-level training available to members of crime reduction units is adequate, appropriate, sufficient, and clear.
I agree with the finding that the "J" Division policy regarding crime reduction type units is adequate, appropriate, sufficient, and clear.
I agree with the finding that the means in place to measure the efficacy of "J" Division's crime reduction-type enforcement units are adequate, appropriate, sufficient, and clear.
I agree with the finding that the accountability framework for "J" Division's crime reduction units is adequate, appropriate, sufficient, and clear.
I agree with the finding that, at the time of review, "K" Division policies regarding crime reduction units were under development. Since the specified activity review, "K" Division has not developed a CRU Division supplement. Their plan is to develop a policy consistent with the practices of each of the components of the crime reduction strategy. In the interim, they are relying on the National Policy.
I agree with the finding that, although the crime reduction strategy in "K" Division was under development at the time of review, the means that were in place to measure the efficacy of its CRUs were adequate, appropriate, sufficient, and clear.
I agree with the finding that, at the time of review, the accountability framework with respect to CRUs in "K" Division was adequate, appropriate, sufficient, and clear.
The "K" Division crime reduction strategy launched in 2018. It is data-driven and built on four pillars: apprehension, offender management, targeted prevention and suppression. Once the practices for each pillar of the crime reduction strategy are more established, "K" Division specific policy will be written to supplement the national Crime Reduction Policy.
I agree with the finding that "E" Division policies relating to CRUs are adequate, appropriate, sufficient, and clear.
I agree with the finding that the means of evaluating the efficacy of crime reduction-type units in "E" Division are adequate, appropriate, sufficient, and clear.
I agree with the finding that the accountability framework with respect to CRUs in "E" Division is adequate, appropriate, sufficient, and clear.
I agree with the finding that at the time of the review, the RCMP did not have a national policy relating to the operations of CRUs. There has been a national policy in place since September 2019.1 have enclosed a copy for your reference.
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