High-profile crimes don’t reflect overall picture

RCMP quarterly crime stats report

Despite high-profile crimes in North Battleford in 2019, including two murders, RCMP Insp. Tom Beck cited some declines in a number of categories for the city portion of the detachment when he presented statistics to council Monday. 

In individual categories, declines are being posted in person offences (from 1,153 to 1,022), business break and enters (71 down to 50), property offences (from 3,130 to 2,844), drug offences (from 175 to 113), and liquor-related offences (from 353 to 275).

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Increases were noted in residential break and enters (from 202 to 225), Criminal Code offences (up from 2,166 to 2,282), impaired operation of a motor vehicle (from 195 to 228) and provincial traffic offences (from 1,073 to 1,968).

In overall calls for service, total calls were up seven per cent from 13,087 to 13,978. Total files were up nine per cent, from 12,202 to 13,312.

For the fourth quarter, there were 3,530 calls for service, up from 3,134. That total makes up 64 per cent of the calls for service per municipality for the entire detachment

The statistics were presented in Beck’s quarterly report.

Also included in the report was an update on the other initiatives going on at the detachment. Beck noted the staff was up to full complement, with the exception of two corporal positions that are vacant and posted for promotion.

Also, the detachment is losing S/Sgt. Darcy Woolfitt, who has accepted a transfer over to the Crime Reduction Team.  

Beck called Woolfitt’s departure a “large loss” for the detachment, but also added “it’s beneficial for us to have an ally over there as well.”

The overall numbers were seen as a positive. Regarding the spike in provincial traffic offences, Beck confirmed that was the result of proactive enforcement by the detachment.

Beck also pointed to the decline in numbers for person offences. That category includes such crimes as robberies, assaults and sexual assaults, and those were offences Beck said they were paying attention to.

Councillor Greg Lightfoot called the declines in the crime stats good news. “I like to see numbers like this, it’s a good sign,” said Lightfoot.  

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