Crime down in Cranbrook, RCMP says

Last year's crime stats in Cranbrook reflect drop in local incidents

The Cranbrook RCMP released the fourth quarter of 2013 numbers and Cpl. Barry Graham was on hand at Monday night’s council meeting to answer any questions.

Graham said the numbers show a drop in almost every category except break and enters, but he said that it is a small statistical sample for the quarter.

“It’s only up three, from 11 to 14, and you can factor in the home invasions that were successfully investigated over that quarter that factor into that as well,” Graham said. “Overall for the year, we’re down 49 per cent.”

The drug stats also dropped, which he said was not a reflection of a lack of success by the drug unit that have been working for the last year and a half, but rather a result of longer, more substantial investigations.

“That’s progressing very well and has had a great impact, especially on property crime in the area,” he said.

The other change Graham spoke to was impaired driving, which was down 20 per cent over the quarter and 11 per cent over the year.

He said it could be a reflection of community awareness and less people drinking and driving.

“The other thing that could factor into it is the success of the Immediate Roadside Prohibition program,” he said. “It’s quick 90 day suspensions, there is less time with the criminal court systems.”

The roadside prohibitions have gone up to 41 in 2013, from 26 in 2012, a 58 per cent increase.

Traffic tickets issued dropped to 114 in 2013, from 142 in 2012, a 20 per cent change.

Coun. Gerry Warner asked whether the force has been given direction from Ottawa in terms of enforcing the new medical marijuana grow operation legislation.

“If you go there, do they have to produce some sort of paper saying that they are allowed to do this, a licence or something?” he asked.

Graham said there have been a number of bulletins sent to them, but he hadn’t sat down and read it all yet.

He said he would return to a future meeting to talk more in depth about it.

Coun. Sharon Cross was happy to see that there was an overall reduction in crime.

“We’ve had a number of serious crimes in the past year and in my 16 years of service I haven’t seen the success rate that we’ve seen here for a lot of files,” Graham said, adding that from what he’d seen the most expensive investigations were being solved.

Graham also credited the prolific offenders enforcement.

“We’re getting better at identifying the issues, the disease I suppose, as opposed to the symptoms,” he said.

“We focus on not only enforcement with the offender, but also looking at what’s driving people to do what they are doing, whether it’s drug, mental health or substance abuse problems. That’s becoming bigger in Cranbrook as well.”