Rural crime watch and citizen patrols in Canada

This article reports increased public involvement in crime prevention in rural areas of Alberta, Canada, where reported crime increased 41% from 2013 to 2017. Residents cite limited RCMP coverage and long response times among their concerns. New citizens-on-patrol groups are seeking authorization in 16 communities and 15 new rural crime watch groups are forming.

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Custom Blackberry CEO busted

This article reports a multi-national investigation by the U.S., Canada, and Australia into a company that provided custom Blackberry devices for secure communication within private networks, with encryption and remote “wiping” if a phone was seized by authorities. About 20,000 of the devices are in circulation with a clientele that includes drug cartels and transnational organized crime groups. The company’s CEO was arrested last week.

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Increased violence in Quintana Roo

This article reports an increase in murder, robbery, and business extortion in and around popular Mexico tourist destinations Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Cozumel. Analysts attribute the violence to disputes between organized crime groups over territory, drug sales, and rackets, aided by corrupt prosecutors and police. Tourism has not yet declined, but the U.S. government issued travel warnings for the area.

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New Europol head announced

This article reports that the commissioner general of the Belgian federal police, Catherine De Bolle, will become executive director of Europol on May 1, when current head Rob Wainright’s term concludes. She was the first female federal police commissioner in Belgium when appointed to that position in 2012, and has said “I have always been the first (woman) in most of the jobs I have done,” as reported here.

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Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland

The Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland was established in 2017 with its report due by September 2018. A recent submission by the Law Society of Ireland, available here, lists 14 recommendations, including simplifying oversight structures, more emphasis on continuous professional development of police staff, a more transparent promotion system, and a stronger commitment to community policing.

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Norway, New Zealand seeking gender parity

This article reports that 48% of students seeking entry to Norway’s Police University College in 2018 are women. This article reports that 42 of 80 recruits in the latest class of the Royal New Zealand Police College are women. Meanwhile, the Northern Territories police in Australia have set a goal of 50/50 gender staffing by 2020, as reported here.

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Police reform in Ukraine

This 25-minute documentary covers the last several years of police reform in Ukraine, with particular focus on policing domestic violence in the country and on gender equity in the new patrol police.

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