New Crime Suppression Team hits the street

The Lethbridge Police Service’s new Crime Suppression Team (CST) is now on the street and working to proactively to target problem areas and unwanted behaviours.

Today marks the first shift for the new CST whose mission is to reduce violence and disorder, improve safety and enhance the quality of life for Lethbridge residents. The team will proactively identify problem areas using data and crime analysis intelligence to target individuals and groups responsible for negative behaviours and serial offences. The CST will combine high visibility enforcement activities with covert investigative techniques.

“We have seen the ongoing effects of the drug crisis on our community and we’ve heard the concerns raised by our citizens,” said Chief Scott Woods. “The Crime Suppression Team won’t be a cure-all, but having dedicated resources to enhance our street presence and strategically target the spin off crime, public disorder and chronic offences that have resulted will have an impact.”

In 2019 there was a significant increase in calls for service in the area of the Supervised Consumption Site and downtown core. The increase in calls included street robberies, assaults, thefts and commercial break-ins. In addition, police continue to respond to reports of disturbances, suspicious persons and property-related crimes throughout the city. As a result of the ongoing violence, property crime and drug-related offences, public perception of safety across the community has faltered. The CST will actively target these issues.

“The new team is committed to making a difference and I am confident they will work hard and in time we will see positive change.”

The creation of the CST involved the redeployment of officers from non-frontline areas to fill vacancies created by the selection of the team. Currently there are six members – one Sergeant and five Constables – but as future capacity permits additional resources may be allocated.

Community members can follow @LethbridgeCST on Twitter for updates.

MEDIA AVAILABILITY: Chief Scott Woods will be available for interviews today at 1:30 p.m. at the police station. This will be the only opportunity for on-camera interviews.