Project Dovetail cuts shoplifting in half in Maple Ridge

RIDGE Meadows RCMP’s summer initiative ‘Project Dovetail’ has cut shoplifting in half during June and July of this year.

Launched in partnership with the City of Maple Ridge on June 1 with the aim of increasing public safety in the Maple Ridge downtown core, Project Dovetail had three main areas of focus:

1. Business Engagement
2. Community Engagement
3. Proactive Referrals.

In total, the Project Dovetail team:

* Engaged with 118 businesses by checking in with employees, encouraging businesses to sign up for Business Watch and hearing ongoing concerns;
* Engaged with 607 community members by responding to check wellbeing calls, speaking with pedestrians and engaging with citizens;
* Received 118 proactive referrals related to connecting vulnerable residents with appropriate resources, such as The Hub.
* Preliminary analysis of crime types for June and July reveal that shoplifting complaints were down 53% when compared to June and July 2022.

Project Dovetail stats showing the change in shoplifting from June and July 2022 versus June and July 2023. In June and July 2023 there were 15 such files versus 32 in June and July 2022, indicating a 53% decrease.

Project Dovetail built off the success of last summer’s ‘Project C.O.R.E.’, which was effective in reducing crime in the downtown area. This summer, Project Dovetail advanced those efforts by forming a collaborative team led by the RCMP’s Crime Reduction Unit (CRU) with support from Maple Ridge Bylaws, Community Safety Officers, RCMP volunteers and Westridge Security.

The two-month long initiative also provided outreach services and referrals to vulnerable residents and featured dedicated foot and bike patrols which increased visibility and boosted business and resident engagement throughout the Maple Ridge Town Centre.

“This partnership is part of the broader community safety program where we are working with our partners and key stakeholders to ensure that we are proactively working in the community to address the safety of our businesses and citizens,” states Michelle Adams, Director of Bylaw, Licensing and Community Safety.

“The safety of our downtown core, its residents and business community, is a priority for our detachment. Project Dovetail was a great collaboration that allowed us to engage with local businesses and residents,” states Ridge Meadows RCMP Officer-in-Charge, Superintendent Wendy Mehat. “Dovetail gave us a greater understanding of what that community wants from a public safety perspective.”

Patrols in the downtown area will be ongoing with the focus continuing to be engagement, education, visibility and enforcement.