RCMP continue to battle vehicle theft

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St. Albert detachment commander Inspector Pamela Robinson said that the second quarter policing report did not hold any surprises.

Most of the numbers reported stayed relatively consistent with the last few years with a few small jumps.

But Robinson said that even though some categories did spike, it is just a small snapshot and doesn’t represent overall trends in the city.

The policing report shows the crime numbers from July 1 to Sept. 30 and highlights progress on the annual policing priorities.

The policing priorities laid out for the year aimed to reduce theft of vehicles and theft from vehicles by 10 per cent but the RCMP were not able to reach that target this quarter.

Overall, vehicle thefts continue to be a problem in St. Albert and across the province.

“It is a provincial problem. I think the stats increase in property related crime has been noted provincially not just associated with St. Albert and St. Albert stats. We are on par with the rest of the province which is why it focuses where we target our enforcement,” Robinson said.

Theft from motor vehicles increased 20 per cent between the second quarter in 2016 to the second quarter in 2017. In 2016 there were a reported 155 incidents while in 2017 there were 196. Theft of motor vehicles also increased over the quarter by 16 per cent.

There were 37 incidents reported in the second quarter of 2016 but that number increased to 44 in the second quarter of 2017.

The RCMP continue to battle vehicle theft with proactive measures such as hot spot mapping for high crime areas and intelligence sharing within the detachment.

Despite the increase of vehicle related property crimes, overall property related crime decreased 1.7 per cent.

According to the report property related crimes tend to rise during the warmer months when people are out of their homes for longer periods of time.

“People tend to spend more time away from their homes as they enjoy outdoor activities, providing greater opportunity for criminals to commit break and enter, theft, mischief,” the report said.

Robinson said that the policing priorities laid out by the community drive the daily duties of the local RCMP members and they are continually working towards meeting their annual policing priority goals.

“The detachment members are very committed to working towards the priorities that have been outlined by the community. It’s a daily part of their duties on the proactive side of things. They are continually looking to meet and exceed those numbers along with the reactive policing,” Robinson said.

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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.