Property crimes a top priority

Thefts, break and enters, plus the highway corridor through the city are in focus for Salmon Arm RCMP.

Cracking down on property crime continues to be a priority for Salmon Arm RCMP.

Cracking down on property crime continues to be a priority for Salmon Arm RCMP.

The public’s need for the Salmon Arm RCMP has been markedly similar in the past two years.

According to police statistics, in the last three months of 2015, local police received 1,561 calls for service within and outside of city borders. That number was only nine calls higher for the same period in 2016.

Staff Sgt. Scott West provided city council with statistics comparing October, November and December of 2015 and 2016. In both years, 1,132 calls, or 72 per cent, were from within city limits.

“Reported incidents remained constant,” he stated, “but 2015 was up 10 per cent over 2014. In essence we are busier and the trend has not increased but it did remain constant.”

Of the total for the last quarter of 2016, 265 were files involving alcohol or drugs. That’s up from 231 for the same period in 2015.

The statistics also showed that “mental health related calls” have increased, totalling 107 in 2016 for the period but 85 for 2015.

Total Criminal Code offences in the last quarter were similar in the two years: 271 in 2015 and 259 in 2016.

As always, property crime statistics are much higher than crimes against people.

West listed 161 property crimes last quarter, as opposed to 40 ‘persons/violent’ crimes.

“Property crime statistics are up over last year but instances of property crime have been reducing by 10 per cent per month for the last three months overall,” he stated. “Our property crime reports are now below where we were last year in December. Our officers have been successful in affecting transient criminals as we react to their presence in our community effectively. In the month of December, all of our property crime statistics were below average with the exception of auto theft, which is still down over the fiscal year.”

The fourth quarter for 2016 included: three sexual offences, 22 assaults, 17 auto thefts, 10 break and enters, 34 thefts from motor vehicles, 17 drug investigations, 93 motor-vehicle collisions, one motor-vehicle collision with a fatality, 22 impaired-driving charges and 21 impaired-driving roadside suspensions.

West noted that local police and Highway Patrol were active in the last quarter of 2016, with local officers removing 99 impaired drivers from the roads and writing more than 375 violation tickets or warnings to drivers for Motor Vehicle Act infractions. He said that Highway Patrol and local officers have planned an enforcement blitz in the Highway 1 corridor.