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Darren Boyer, April 13 2022

March Community Safety Score-Rural Leader

The ratepayers in this region are enjoying living in one of the safest places in western Canada.  These results aren't by accident.  Here is a copy of the report sent to our partners in this region titled the Community Safety Report that shows how they did it.

Community Safety Score Introduction

Below are the ten steps we’ve seen as critical to impacting Community Safety.

 Explanation of 10 Steps

These ten steps came after analyzing close to 10,000 property crimes. I saw a consistent pattern in how police and the public would respond if they were empowered with the right information. Nine of the 10 steps have proven to be effective across several urban and rural regions over several months.

Steps 1-4 are property owner driven. These four steps, especially steps 1 and 2, are the foundation for a low crime rate.

Steps 6-10 are what I call accelerators. These steps are mostly administration driven. If steps 1-4 are done even partially, these accelerator steps will speed up how safe a community can become. The opposite is not necessarily true. If steps 6-10 are done but property owners will not report in a timely basis there is very little that can be done to lower a crime rate as a crime ecosystem will exist and prosper only to strike again and again.

Defining a High Quality Alert

A high quality alert has four parts in our definition. First, the alert is created within 1 hour of the incident. Second it has a clear video proving a crime took place. Third, the alert also provides clear pictures that are extracted from the video so there can be instant recognition via a volunteer with a mobile phone who just has seconds to get involved. Fourth, there are clear descriptions of what to look for and real clarity the police have been involved.

While we don’t grade this part, the description should also be done in a manner that is the most helpful. This format highlights any unique identifiable characteristics first, then describes the event second. This format allows a busy police officer or busy volunteer to use the clear photos and the verbal description to understand if what they see matches what is being reported.

Enabling More High Quality Alerts
Unfortunately, less than 1% of the alerts or crimes we see on Lightcatch, in the news, or online via social media meet the criteria of what makes a high quality alert.

Although dozens of security companies could help deliver the technology to be able to deliver high quality alerts it seems to rarely happen. I seen this gap in the marketplace and built a service called Crime Blocker to enable more property owners to create high quality alerts. The Crime Blocker service uses the customers existing security partners and or other local providers to remove the common failure points preventing people from being able to create high quality alerts.

Step #6 – Government Buildings & Facilities Create High Quality Alerts

Step #6 is the only step we don’t have established data for. I’ve seen enough property crimes happen at government owned facilities to know they can be targets. I’ve also seen a real opportunity for these taxpayer funded facilities to lead the way in crime prevention efforts by they themselves being able to create high quality alerts. To date, I see a tendency to sweep these kinds of losses seemingly under the rug and I think it is a real missed opportunity. The use of reserve funds and insurance claims just seem to be accepted too often and too easily.

After dozens, if not hundreds of conversations with the public about crime and crime rates I can say with some degree of confidence that if the public sees local government buildings report a need where they can help they will respond very favourably.

An example of this is a recent conversation I had with an energy related group. One representative was lamenting their frequent losses, the costs, and how those losses just seem to get treated by the courts as a ‘victimless crime’. I responded that that may be the way the courts respond, but in the eyes of the public there is no such thing as a victimless crime. Enough of the public will want to help prevent or resolve any request for help that the industry should expect being able to get real results from the police and the courts the majority of the time. I have a lot of data that points to the courts treating crimes as victimless when the evidence is weak and there are no High Quality Alerts like I’ve defined involved.

The only condition that seems to prevent the public from helping effectively is when the request comes days too late or when it is not clear and simple how they can help.

Therefore, I believe Step #6 represents an easy opportunity for a Municipality or government office to take a leadership role in creating high quality alerts. By doing that, it will almost certainly lead to there being an accelerator in how fast and how well the public gets involved and follows this example. 

Next Steps

On the following pages is the Community Safety Score for Parkland County as well as how the score compares to other Municipalities. I also have some comparison data in regards to crime rates per region.

In providing this report I hope we can build safer communities. I certainly don’t have all the answers and would welcome feedback in how to get there quicker.
All the best,
Darren Boyer, CEO
Lightcatch Network Inc.

Community Safety Score for Parkland County – March 2022

Explanation of the Score – 70%

1 – Yes – Far more alerts created within Parkland County were suspicious or warning alerts on Lightcatch in March.

3 – Yes - County ratepayers continue to have a high engagement rate on the Lightcatch app when an alert is created.

4 – Yes - County ratepayers had two thefts reported and one recovery in March. Technically this wasn’t over 50% but the theft recoveries have been over 50% in the past so this seems reasonable to add to the score.

5 – Yes – The following charts will show the Parkland County Crime Rate has remained in the bottom half versus peers.

8 – Yes – Parkland County Peace Officers have been very consistent in their support and education to ratepayers regarding how it can benefit property owners. Officers have also led by example and made key contributions at different times.

9 – Yes – RCMP staff based out of Spruce Grove have actively used Lightcatch information once a service request has been initiated through proper RCMP reporting channels such as calling 911, reporting online or calling the local detachment.

10 – Yes – The visibly of Lightcatch and crime prevention best practices across Parkland County has been significantly impacted by the efforts of the Stony Plain Rural Crime Watch Executive and the Holborn Rural Crime Watch Executive. The support of the RCMP Liaison Officer and the Peace Officers accelerates those efforts.

Crime Rate Peer Comparison – March 2022

The Parkland County crime rate was the second lowest among these peers in March.

Crime Rate Peer Comparison of Cities March 2022

Crime Rate Comparison Between Rural and Urban Crime 2022

Community Safety Score Peer Comparison March 2022

Suggestions

There are multiple suggestions that should almost immediately lower the Parkland County crime rate even further.

Here is a short list of easy to accomplish steps to build momentum.

1) Communicate to ratepayers the impact Parkland County and the County of Grande Prairie have had in creating suspicious activity proactively. This message could be in print newsletters and or online on the Parkland County website or Facebook page. Highlighting this simple step as being something that others are doing, and its effectiveness is something that most people can easily relate to. I can provide one or two specific examples with screenshots from Lightcatch to help communicate how this works.

2) Have all of the Parkland County staff download the Lightcatch app. If an alert comes on the app staff in the field could make a significant difference in assisting the public. This can also generate a lot of goodwill within the community being able to say the County staff are leading by example. The app was designed to be used less than 5 minutes per week and it should have no impact on anyone’s work performance.

Over the medium to long term I believe the Community Crime Shield from Lightcatch can help deliver lasting change that will lead to an even safer community.

 

Written by

Darren Boyer

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