RCMP deliver Q3 crime stats to city council

Top RCMP officials delivered the third-quarter crime stats to Cranbrook city council last week, highlighted fluctuations in different types of criminal offences.

Person offences, such as assaults, sex assaults, assault with a weapon, robbery, threats and criminal harassment, increased by 23 per cent, however, from a year-to-date perspective, those offences had decreased by two per cent.

Overall, property offences such as break and enter, thefts, mischief and fraud, were down by 19 per cent in Q3, however, fraud reports jumped by 92 per cent, which Sgt. Chris Dodds blamed on telemarketing scams.

“We’re seeing a lot of the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) scam coming through right now, so that’s probably what our spike is in numbers,” he said, noting that police will get involved if someone has been defrauded out of money, otherwise those calls get forwarded to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Drug offences are up by 53 per cent over the third-quarter from last year, however, it’s a difference of nine cases from this time last year.

Other criminal offences such as causing a disturbance, breaching bail violations, firearms offences, public mischief and obstructing a police officer are down by 16 per cent in third quarter, but up seven per cent from a year-to-date perspective.

For the clearance rate, the police cleared 493 of 1,336 total criminal code files for a 37 per cent clearance rate, one percentage point less than at the same time last year.

For motor vehicle accidents, there were no fatalities within the city, and property damage accidents are down by 20 per cent. There was a small uptick of injury accidents, however, that was a change of only two incidents.

Overall, motor vehicle accidents are down by 16 per cent form a year-to-date perspective.

However, drinking and driving offences were up, as impaired drivers jumped 62 per cent and roadside suspensions jumped by 53 per cent.

“Drinking and driving offences — it’s always a continued battle, and we’re always working on impaired driving,” Dodds said.

Dodds attributed the increase in drinking and driving offences to increased enforcement.

Traffic tickets also increased by 17 per cent, while notices fell by 25 per cent.

Dodds also touted the success of the Mental Health Liaison position, which has helped local RCMP connect clients with mental health supports in emergency situations.

Dodds reported there have been 391 calls for service for mental health-related situations, 78 of which required police to apprehend the individual and take them to the hospital.

He noted that since the creation of the Mental Health Liaison, there has been a 35 per cent reduction, on average, of apprehensions, meaning that the RCMP officer can connect a client with a social service or support instead of being taken into custody and diverted to the hospital.

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