Fourth quarter crime stats from 2018 are down across the board, according to Sgt. Barry Graham, who presented the data to Cranbrook city council on Monday night.
Person offences, such as assaults, sex assaults, assault with a weapon, robbery, threats and criminal harassment, were down by 12 per cent in Q4, and also down by six per cent at year-end.
Property offences, such as break and enter, theft, mischief, and fraud were down by 27 per cent in Q4, and also by nine per cent at year end.
Digging deeper into property offences, there was a significant drop in break and enters and mischief, while there were no arson events, as opposed to one from Q4 the year before.
Other criminal code offences such as causing a disturbance, breaching bail conditions, firearms offences, and obstructing a police officer were also down by 31 per cent in Q4 and four per cent at year end.
There were five fewer drug offences in Q4, with a year end tally of 80 offences and a 63 per cent clearance rate.
There were no fatal motor vehicle accidents within the city, while property damage accidents were down. Injury accidents were up by only one incident over the previous year.
Impaired drivers and roadside suspensions were both up 43 per cent and 41 per cent, respectively, in Q4.
Sgt. Graham says elevated RCMP visibility is important to deter impaired driving.
“It’s a difficult one to interpret, the statistics there, because it’s not really successful when you get more impaired drivers, it’s more when you deter them,” said Sgt. Graham.
Traffic tickets also jumped 44 per cent in the last quarter of 2018, and 12 per cent over the year.
Councillor Wes Graham asked if the legalization of marijuana had impacted impaired driving statistics.
Sgt. Graham noted that Cranbrook police don’t have the technology yet to detect marijuana-impaired drivers, but said that local RCMP have a trained Drug Recognition Expert, which has been in use for years, both at East Kootenay Traffic Services and now at the detachment.
“We use the drug recognition expert to build grounds to get the blood demands, but we haven’t seen a substantial change in how we do business since the legislation change,” Sgt. Graham said.