Saanich police will leave the Regional Crime Unit at the end of the year.
“We were expecting it. In fact we’ve probably been putting it off,” Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard, chair of the Saanich Police Board, said of the decision to pull funds and staff from the integrated unit. “The unit has been limping along since four municipalities pulled out.”
Saanich, West Shore RCMP and Sooke RCMP are the only remaining municipalities in the unit, created in 2008 to target the region’s most prolific offenders. Leonard says Saanich pulling out spells the end of the RCU.
“We knew that and it was communicated … this was coming,” he said. “The Regional Crime Unit has done a good job.”
Saanich’s resources will be shifted to taking a proactive policing approach that focuses on research and undercover work within the street crime unit.