Calgary Police Crackdown: Public Safety or Publicity?

According to the Calgary Police, a crackdown on property crimes has led to the laying of more than one hundred charges, all from the arrest of fifteen people, between April 12 and April 21.

Property crimes, which include non-violent offences such as car thefts and breaking and entering, have been on the rise in Calgary compared to the five-year averages for the city. Police hope that this recent "crackdown" will help to reverse that trend, and have asked all Calgary residents to take care in locking doors and vehicles to help reduce property crimes.

Given the large display of seized property, including four firearms, at the press conference held by the Calgary Police to announce these recent efforts, getting the public's attention definitely seems to be one of the goals of this recent police action.

Interestingly, there is no indication that any of the fifteen individuals arrested during the ten-day flurry of police action have been charged with any violent crimes, or with any crime that presents a direct danger to public health and safety. While property crimes certainly threaten the sense of security in Calgary and a vigilant public is important, the attention garnered by the Calgary Police might seem disproportionate to some.

Of the charges laid, nearly a third were for breach of court conditions, not charges arising out of alleged original criminal acts. Fifteen drug-related charges were also brought against those targeted in the crackdown.