UCFV, SFU, POLICE PARTNER IN CRIME INFO SHARING
Researchers at the University College of the Fraser Valley and Simon Fraser University are teaming up with the RCMP to share information and the latest research on how best to combat crime, solicitor general John Les said on Thursday.
The information sharing agreement, signed Thursday at UCFV, will result in the creation of a highly sophisticated, evidence-based bank of information that will ultimately reduce crime and enhance public safety, provincial government officials say.
This new initiative, said UCFV's Darryl Plecas, is "the best thing that has ever happened to public safety, ever in Canada."
"This innovative crime-fighting partnership is the first agreement of its kind in Canada," said Les. "It is an intelligence-based approach that will give police the tools they need to attack crime in new ways. At the same time, we will gain the knowledge we need to better allocate police resources and reduce crime in communities across B.C."
The crime reduction research chairs that come with the initiative are also the first research chairs of their kind in Canada. Plecas will fill the position at UCFV.
What's also different, said Plecas, is that researchers are involved "right up front" with this crime reduction initiative.
Using computer technology and expert analysis, criminologists at both campuses will analyze crime date to research, among other things, the root causes of crime, crime "hot spots" and repeat offenders.
"The police have this enhanced capacity to measure what they're doing," Plecas said.
They will also work on an ongoing basis with their counterparts around the world, and will provide police with information about crime reduction techniques in other jurisdictions to help identify new strategies for B.C.
At the same time, RCMP will provide the researchers with their own police data to complete the picture.
Plecas notes UCFV has a long history of doing applied research, and has worked closely with the Abbotsford Police on a number of projects.
"This is a perfect fit," he said of the new initiative.
The Centre from Criminal Justice at UCFV, which has been operating for appwroximately two years, has been a leader in research on grow operations and crystal meth in B.C., auto crime, repeat offenders and crime prevention.
It has one of the most secure labs "on the planet," allowing for the analysis of RCMP data.
Its partner lab, the Institute of Canadian Urban Research Studies at SFU, carries out multidisciplinary research on urban issues.
Abbotsford News (CN BC)
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