Cranbrook crime down but impaired charges up

Cranbrook RCMP presented the quarterly report to city council on Monday, Nov. 3.

Cranbrook RCMP presented the quarterly report to city council on Monday, Nov. 3, and while serious crime is down, roadside driving charges have seen an increase from this time in 2013.

The quarterly statistics from the Cranbrook RCMP compare the third quarter statistics from 2014 to those from 2013. It looks at crime statistics, administration and operational issues and the detachment’s progress with Community Policing programs from July to September.

In that period, the detachment received 2,230 calls to service, an 8.7 per cent decrease from last year. There was also a marked decrease in prisoners held from 772 in 2013, to 682 in 2014.

“The big changes that we see are impaired driving charges,” Sgt. Brendan McKenna told council. “Year to date our charges have almost doubled since last year.”

There were 13 impaired/refusal charges in 2014, as compared to only 7 in 2013. There were 62 Immediate Roadside Prohibitions this quarter as opposed to 47 in the same quarter last year.

“It’s concerning in a way that it reinforces that people are still drinking and driving,” he said.

Person offences, which include assaults, sexual assaults, assault with a weapon, robbery, threats, and criminal harassment, stayed almost level in the quarter, at 103 in 2014 compared to 101 in 2013. However, the total year’s stats are down 14.2 per cent from last year.

Property related offences, which includes break, enter and theft, mischief to property, thefts and thefts from vehicles, were down 17 per cent in the this quarter, at 215 compared to 259 in 2013. For the total year that change is 23.9 per cent decrease from last year.

Other criminal code offences, which includes cause a disturbance, breach/bail violations, firearm offences, public mischief, obstruct a police officer and counterfeit currency, dropped by 10.9 per cent, at 82 in for the quarter 2014 compared to 92 in 2013. The total year change was a 26.5 per cent decrease.

There was also a decrease in trafficking and possession of cocaine, marijuana and other drugs under the Controller Drugs and Substances Act. While the total drug files stayed relatively the same at 36 in 2014 from 35 in 2013, drug file charges dropped 40 per cent to only 2 in the quarter of 2014, from 5 in the quarter in 2013.

Year to date drug files also dropped to 84, from 107 in 2013, or 21.5 per cent.

The year to date charges dropped 44.4 per cent to 16 in 2014 from 29 in 2013.

Motor vehicle accidents were up for the year so far, with a 14.8 per cent increase in injury motor vehicle accidents. There were no fatal accidents in either year in the city.

“We haven’t had any fatalities here in the city, which we’re thankful for,” McKenna said.