Calgary, AB,

CPS District Operations Team focusing on auto thefts

The Calgary Police Service is shifting the focus of one of the Service’s District Operations Teams to continue addressing auto thefts and related crimes in the city.

In 2015, Calgary saw a drastic increase in property-related crimes in the city, including stolen vehicles. In the first half of 2017, there were 2,998 stolen vehicle occurrences in Calgary, which was 13 per cent more than the same period in 2016 and 48 per cent more than the five-year average. In the second quarter of 2017, an average of 19 vehicles were stolen each day in Calgary. The past two months have seen some improvement in vehicle theft occurrences, with month-over-month decreases of 9 per cent in June and 6 per cent in July.

The Service currently has five District Operations Teams (DOTs), which are mandated to reduce crime throughout the city by focusing on prominent crime trends and carrying out covert operations to address them. These five teams are centralized and work with many other areas of the Service to identify crime issues and focus resources as necessary. Recent focuses for these teams have been auto thefts, break and enters and other property-related crimes.

Recently, a decision was made to focus the resources of one DOT exclusively on auto theft. This team will continue to work closely with members of the Auto Theft Resource Team (ATRT), as well as the Prolific Offender Engagement Team (POET), to investigate auto thefts in the city and target known prolific auto theft offenders. The other four DOTs will continue to focus on all emerging trends, and will still be involved with investigating auto thefts as they were before.

By formalizing the connection between DOT and ATRT, the Service will have a more coordinated approach to dealing with auto thefts in both an operational and investigative capacity. This collaborative strategy is expected to have a substantial impact on stolen vehicles and related crimes, as was the result when the break and enter teams were centralized.