Crime reduction analyst looks for patterns, trends; 'steep decreases' reported in property crime

Eric Bourque
Published on February 26, 2014
Stephen Carter, crime reduction analyst with the RCMP, speaks to Argyle council Feb. 25.

The addition of a crime reduction analyst to the RCMP has had a positive impact, Argyle municipal councillors were told Tuesday night.

RCMP Staff Sgt. Michel Lacroix of the Yarmouth rural detachment spoke of the relatively new program as part of a presentation to council during its Feb. 25 committee-of-the-whole meeting.

Stephen Carter, a civilian member of the Mounties, began his position as crime reduction analyst three years ago and describes his job as that of a troubleshooter.

“One of the realities of policing now in the technological age is that there’s a lot of data to go through,” Carter told council. “Members are busy doing their thing in a small area. Communication is important between these areas.”

Carter goes through data looking for patterns and trends, he said.

“If you have a break-and-enter or your car’s been broken into … (there) may be a connection to other areas,” he said.

He has been specifically targeting property crime, identifying offenders who are likely to repeatedly carry out crimes of this nature and assisting in tactical operations when there is a spree of property-related crimes.

There have been “steep decreases” in property crime and overall calls for service for police in Yarmouth County, according to the RCMP report presented to Argyle council.

A former lecturer at the University of New Brunswick who remains a research affiliate with that school, Carter said many offenders have moved away.

“I’d like to think it’s because we’ve made them unable to do crime in this area, so they have to go somewhere else,” he said.

Carter initially covered the Yarmouth town and rural detachments and Clare, but his region has grown to cover 10 detachments in five counties, he told council.

Describing his work, he said, “There was good police work being done before I started this job. I see myself -- as every crime analyst -- as another layer of support for policing."

The Mounties’ presentation to Argyle council included an overview of the senior safety program. Peggy Boudreau, senior safety coordinator for the Municipality of Argyle, said the program is going well and getting a lot of referals.