Skip to content

Maple Ridge shoplifting cases drops 53% thanks to new RCMP project

Project Dovetail led to only 15 shoplifting instances in June and July
Project Dovetail connected RCMP with the city bylaws department, Community Safety Officers, RCMP volunteers, and Westridge Security in downtown patrols. (Ridge Meadows RCMP/Special to The News)

A new police initiative has been a big hit, according to Ridge Meadows RCMP, cutting the number of shoplifting incidences in half within the past couple of months.

A year ago, Maple Ridge was a hotbed for shoplifting, with the downtown core seeing 32 of these cases through June and July of 2022.

So in response, Ridge Meadows RCMP launched a new program called Project Dovetail earlier this summer in partnership with the City of Maple Ridge and Westridge Security.

READ ALSO: Ridge Meadows RCMP announced Project Dovetail

Project Dovetail puts frontline RCMP staff in the downtown core, where they engaged with the public in three key areas, explained Ridge Meadows RCMP Cpl. Julie Klaussner.

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 well-being calls, speaking with pedestrians, and engaging with our citizens

• Received 118 proactive referrals related to connecting vulnerable residents with appropriate resources, such as The Hub

By collaborating more with downtown residents and business members over the past couple of months, Ridge Meadows RCMP Supt. Wendy Mehat explained that Project Dovetail led to impressive results.

“Dovetail gave us a greater understanding of what that community wants from a public safety perspective,” said Mehat.

In June and July of last year, there were 32 reported instances of shoplifting. But in June and July of this year, this number decreased to 15, which is a 53 per cent decrease.

READ ALSO: Nine shoplifters arrested during blitz in Pitt Meadows

Michelle Adams, director of bylaw, licensing and community safety, explained that Project Dovetail is just one piece of a much larger picture for the city.

“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,” said Adams.

Cpl. Klaussner said that patrols throughout the downtown core will continue as the RCMP works to extend the engagement and visibility aspects of the Project Dovetail program.

Have a story tip? Email:
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Brandon Tucker

About the Author: Brandon Tucker

I have been a journalist since 2013, with much of my career spent covering sports and entertainment stories in Alberta.
Read more