Road safety, domestic violence top police priorities for 2013

The Abbotsford Police Department has released its strategic plan for the year.

A recent accident at Crossley and Maclure roads added to local injury statistics.

A recent accident at Crossley and Maclure roads added to local injury statistics.

Road safety, domestic violence, gangs and property crime are the top four issues of importance to the Abbotsford Police Department (APD)  this year.

The department has released its 2013 strategic plan, which lays out the crucial areas of concern and sets goals for improvement.

Chief Bob Rich said the top priority continues to be road safety, following a year that saw nine traffic-related fatalities and 480 crashes resulting in injury.

Rich said the department undertook a number of measures last year, including increased enforcement, to try to reduce those numbers.

“Still, we have not cracked the nut. One of the things that we have said to ourselves is, ‘That’s not good enough.’ ”

Deputy Chief Rick Lucy said police are taking a more in-depth approach this year to looking at why Abbotsford is having so many problems with road safety.

“There is nothing else … that results in more physical harm and death in Abbotsford,” he said.

The goal is a 10 per cent reduction in injury crashes. Initiatives include partnering with the city to improve road safety, targeting prolific bad drivers and continuing a public education campaign throughout the year.

Domestic violence is second on the list of priorities in the strategic plan, with the APD setting a goal this year to increase reporting rates by 25 per cent and boost the number of successful prosecutions of offenders by 10 per cent.

Plans are also underway to expand the APD’s domestic violence unit, which works closely with victims, including supporting them through the court process.

Other goals in the strategic plan include:

– no gang/drug homicides;

– targeting gang-controlled grow-ops;

– a 10 per cent reduction in property crimes;

– 58 fewer passenger vehicles stolen; and

– a 10 per cent reduction each in robberies and residential break-ins.