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Vancouver police go high tech to predict and prevent crime before it happens

Vancouver police are going high tech when it comes to fighting property crime.
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Special Const. Ryan Prox demonstrates Vancouver Police Department’s new predictive technology. The department is the first in Canada to use this type of technology for operational purposes.

Vancouver police are going high tech when it comes to fighting property crime.

The department is the first in Canada to adopt predictive technology that can forecast the location of property crime, allowing officers to take proactive measures to prevent it.

“We are always looking for new and innovative ways to help combat crime in the city,” said police chief Adam Palmer. “This new predictive technology gives our front line officers one more tool to use to supplement our traditional policing methods.

“Our officers can use this information to be proactive and take steps to try and prevent crime.”

The new system was rolled out this month after a six month pilot project last year. The pilot ran from April 1 until Sept. 30, targeting residential break and enters, which typically peak during the summer months. During that time, the department saw a substantial decrease in the number of break-ins, with the highest drop, 27 per cent, in June.

The system provides data in two-hour intervals, showing officers where residential and commercial break-and-enters are anticipated, zeroing in on 100-metre and 500-metres zones. Officers can then be dispatched to those areas on foot, or in patrol cars, to provide a visible presence to deter thieves.

@JessicaEKerr

jkerr@vancourier.com