Cranbrook RCMP delivered crime stats for the first three months of the year, which saw a 42 per cent in property offences such break and enters, mischief, and thefts.
“Its pretty seasonal,” said S/Sgt. Hector Lee, the Cranbrook detachment commander. “Criminals are usually looking for opportunities but when its cold, they’re not outside; they don’t like discomfort.
“Saying that, there has been an increase, we’re not immune to this. Just like everybody else in the Southeast District, we’ve seen a spike overall in the entire district and entire province, especially when it comes to thefts from vehicles.”
Break and enters were up by 44 per cent, mischief up by 107 per cent, and thefts by 26 per cent.
“Our people try to do their best to catch these as early as possible,” said S/Sgt. Lee. “Sometimes we don’t get it in time and there’s a bit of a spree, as we’ve talked about before, so everybody can do their part if we have community members who happen to see some behaviour or people that don’t belong in the area, we always welcome that call. We depend on the community to be our eyes and ears and even more so when we have multiple groups that are trudging around.”
S/Sgt Lee also noted a 16 per cent decrease in person offences such as assaults, sexual assaults, assault with a weapon, robbery, threats and criminal harassment.
Motor vehicle incidents such as fatal, injury and property damage accidents also significantly decreased, said S/Sgt. Lee.
There were no alcohol involved accidents in the first quarter, while Injury accidents are down by 80 per cent, property damage accidents were down by 14 per cent.
S/Sgt Lee provided a snapshot of the work being done by Cpl. Rod Hrehirchuk and the new municipal traffic unit that has partnered with East Kootenay Traffic Services, which took three impaired drivers off the road, made two drug seizures and executed a warrant all within a four day window.
“He has a pretty good idea of how to conduct his duties as a traffic enforcer,” said S/Sgt. Lee. “It’s not just about enforcement, it’s about education and awareness as well, and that’s one of the things Rod also will be getting out there in the public, whether it be through media or community websites and that kind of thing, as far as traffic safety goes.”
Total traffic tickets issued remained the same from the first quarter this year and last year at 66 violations, while there was a 35 per cent decrease in notices/warnings.
Drug files are up by 29 per cent from 14 to 18 this time last year, however, S/Sgt. Lee told council that the majority are possession charges and not trafficking.
Clearance rates have decreased by six per cent this time last year, as there are 71 more files in the first quarter than last year.
Other offences such as causing a disturbance, breach/bail violations, firearms offences, public mischief, and obstructing a police officer saw a rise of 42 per cent.
Total calls for service within the city in the first quarter was 1,471, a four per cent increase, while calls for service in rural areas was unchanged.