Serious crimes on the rise


While many categories of crime are decreasing in St. Albert, the quarterly policing report shows some serious crimes are on the rise.

St. Albert RCMP released the third quarter policing report last week to the St. Albert policing committee, which showed that incidents of homicides and offences related to death, robbery and uttering threats have increased. The policing report captures the crime statistics from Sept. 30 to Dec. 31.

The report showed offences related to death were up to two incidents as compared to zero incidents in the third quarter in all years dating back to 2013. Incidents of robbery have jumped to seven from five in 2016 and weapons offences have jumped from just five in 2016 to 13 in 2017.

Some good news out of the report is that vehicle thefts have dropped compared to the same time last year. In the third quarter there were 52 incidents of motor vehicle thefts, compared with 57 incidents in the year before which is an 8.7 per cent decrease.

St. Albert detachment commander Insp. Pamela Robinson said that the detachment will continue to focus on crime reduction and they will focus their efforts on offender management. That means deterring prolific offenders and targeting crime hot spots to continue to prevent vehicle thefts.

“Although we are pleased with the stats in this quarter we recognize that this is a community issue and not just a policing issue and we cannot solve crime or lower crime rates without the cooperation of the community,” Robinson said.

Robinson said that they rely on the community to help to solve many crimes by asking the public to identify suspects who are featured in media releases.

The report also showed that impaired driving incidents were down during the fourth quarter. The detachment conducted 46 impaired operation investigations which resulted in five roadside suspensions without criminal code charges, seven roadside suspensions for impairment by drug and nine charges of impaired operation of a motor vehicle. This is a 12.5 per cent decrease from last year in the same period, which saw 52 incidents.

“The decrease is a positive outcome that may be attributed to a number of factors, including the high visibility of police on the city roadways and education/prevention messaging to the public,” the report read.

The full quarterly report will be released to the public on Wednesday.

Serious crimes on the rise

At Thursday’s policing committee meeting Robinson said that January and February of 2018 have seen an increase in serious crimes in the city.

“Not only is there an increase in these types of offences but there is an increase in the crime severity associated with them. We are getting more serious offences this year than what we have seen in years past,” Robinson said.

In January and February the city experienced multiple major incidents in the community. In January the city saw a total of 329 Criminal Code charges laid compared to only 242 laid in January of 2017. Many of those charges were due to an increase in persons crimes.

Some of the incidents include a stabbing which resulted in a man and a woman sent to the hospital and a man facing aggravated assault charges, a search warrant netting 7,500 lethal doses of fentanyl, a break and enter at The Shootist which saw 21 handguns stolen and a drug related robbery of a 14-year-old at McDonalds.


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.