Policing report shows crime rates declined

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Crime has dropped in St. Albert compared to the same period last year. That’s according to the most recent RCMP Quarterly Police Report, released at the end of July.

The report covers January 1 to March 1 of this year and pulls together all of the crime statistics for the three months. In the same period in 2016 there was a total of 883 Criminal Code violations. This year there were 763.

New St. Albert detachment commander Insp. Pamela Robinson said that the proactive response to crime, rather than a reactive response, is what helps keep crime in check in the community.

“St. Albert has been fantastic at continued community engagement. The members in St. Albert are very much a part of the community and work with the community to create education and awareness,” Robinson said.

The report notes that although crime is down overall, there is some concern with certain types of property crime. Crimes of theft from vehicles and mischief have both increased slightly although vehicle theft and break and enters are down significantly.

One way the detachment is fighting property crime is by trying to proactively patrol areas that are identified as hot spots. The unit will gather the crime statistics from the previous seven days and choose two areas to target for “increased patrols and covert operations.”

The detachment is also working with probation officers to ensure that regular curfew checks are being done.

Robinson said that citizens can help to reduce property crime by continuing to be vigilant.

“Keep your doors locked, your vehicles locked and your garage doors closed. Watch out for your neighbours and do a little bit of neighbourhood watch. Look out for any suspicious activity,” Robinson said.

Robinson said that if you see something that just doesn’t seem right call the police or appropriate service for the issue.

Unlike some previous reports, the first quarter report included a section on domestic violence in the community. St. Albert RCMP’s domestic violence coordinator is currently working on 45 files with both long term and immediate needs. The officer helps to serve St. Albertans impacted by domestic violence through “safety planning, court monitoring and regular contact to ensure the family is safe.”

Robinson said that domestic violence isn’t an increasing problem in the community but there is more awareness around the issue and promotion to have a safe community that is free from family violence.

“Domestic violence has always been there, it’s now that we are being more proactive at getting out there, dealing with the issues, providing the appropriate support and creating the awareness in the community. It’s not longer a taboo. We are here and we want to help anyway that we can,” Robinson said.

2017 Q1 crime statistics

Assault: 69
Sexual assault: 8
Criminal harassment: 25
Uttering threats: 21
Break and enter: 32
Theft of motor vehicle: 22
Theft over $5,000: 6
Theft under $5,000: 214
Possession of stolen goods: 13
Fraud: 75
Mischief to property: 109
Offensive weapons: 12
Disturbing the peace: 33

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About Author

Jennifer Henderson

Jennifer Henderson joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2016. She writes about municipal, provincial and federal politics; court and crime; general news and features.