Cranbrook’s second quarter crime stats are in.
S/Sgt. Barry Graham provided an update on local crime statistics over the summer months during a city council meeting on Monday.
Some stats appear to have taken massive jumps or decreases due to small sample sizings, he said.
For example, extortion is up 600 per cent, but it went from one incident in 2018, to seven this year. Or robberies, which is up by 300 per cent, but again, went from one incident last year to four so far this year.
Other criminal offences such as break and enters into businesses are down from nine incidents last year to only four this year so far.
“You look at the rate per 1,000 population, we pretty much compare with the rest of the Southeast District, but lower,” said S/Sgt. Graham. “We follow the same trends, but overall we’re doing better here when you look at some of the large detachments and their crime issues and even smaller detachments that have more members — it seems to be quite lower here.”
Graham says crimes like thefts or assaults can spike seasonally in the summer months before dropping down to previous existing trend lines.
On inquiry from Councillor Wes Graham, S/Sgt. Graham said there hasn’t been much of an uptick in impaired charges due to cannabis legalization.
“We’re still seeing a high number of alcohol-related roadside prohibitions, but we probably had a spike with drug impaired this quarter, but I think it’s more detection,” S/Sgt. Graham said.
S/Sgt. Graham later added that updated federal legislation has give police more authority for traffic stops if there is suspected impairment.
“Over my experience in traffic, over 20 years in different job functions, there’s been people, I’m sure that have passed through me who were stoned or drunk or something,” S/Sgt. Graham said. “You sense something but without…we had to have an admission of consumption or a smell. You had that bad feeling, but that’s it — you had to let them go.
“Now, we have that, we can articulate it; a person cracks their window to talk to us instead of fully opening it like most people do — we can act on those and not just randomly.”
Sex offences were up to 17 incidents this year, as opposed to only seven this time last year — a concern raised by Councillor Mike Peabody.
“There have been a couple instances of multi-victim offenders, some historic in nature in the report,” S/Sgt. Graham said. “It’s really difficult because it’s probably the most under-reported offence and a lot of it comes down to the victim’s comfort level with reporting, [their] support networks, and we’re trying to be more open to the public and be approachable, be visible.”