July 2nd, 2014 ~ Vol. 84 No. 26
RCMP report for offences in the Pass
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
stock photo
Crownest Pass R.C.M.P. Station
Pass Herald Reporter
The RCMP has revealed data on criminal code offences in the Crowsnest Pass, which show that personal crimes increased 30 per cent between 2006 and 2013.
These offences include aggravated assault, sexual assault, threats and robbery.
The data, which was presented at a council meeting on Tuesday, also indicates property crimes decreased 36 per cent. Total criminal code offences decreased 15 per cent during the same time period.
At a council meeting on June 24, Insp. Glenn de Goeij of the Operations Strategy Branch RCMP “K” Division Headquarters argued that the data shows the community is safer than it was eight years ago.
“Any crime is too much crime,” said de Goeij. “[But] If you’ve ever been asked if the Crowsnest Pass is a safe area, you can say it is 100 per cent.”
The increase in personal crimes could be explained by changes in the application of the law or on how charges are laid and dealt with, especially in the area of domestic violence. There was a time when these crimes might not have been investigated thoroughly, ventured de Goeij.
“A 30 per cent increase is not unrealistic, we’ve seen many locations where the increase is closer to 100 per cent,” he said of data on personal crimes. “And I can tell you, this is a healthy picture compared to many locations in the province of Alberta.”
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There were a total of 657 criminal code offences in 2006 and 557 in 2013.
Last year, there were a total of 140 personal crimes, 276 property crimes and 141 other crimes.
The clearance rate, or the proportion of reported offences that have been solved by the police has consistently hovered around 50 per cent since 2006.
“For an incident to be considered solved or cleared, an accused person must be identified and there must be sufficient evidence to lay or recommend a charge,” said the data.
In 2013, the majority of calls for service – or about 13 per cent of total calls for service – were for moving traffic violations such as speeding and erratic driving.
The next most common calls for service were for traffic collisions, followed by false alarms, fake/abandoned 911 calls, mischief, assistance to other agencies, lost and found items, suspicious persons/vehicle/property calls and assistance to the general public.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, about 25 per cent of a Crowsnest Pass RCMP officer’s 2013 estimated workload was spent investigating traffic collisions, other moving traffic violations and violations regarding the impaired operation (by alcohol) of vehicles.
Forty-three communities in Alberta have RCMP Municipal Police Service Agreements (MPSAs), said Gloria Ohrt, executive director of the Law Enforcement and Oversight Branch.
The agreements outline the cost sharing agreements between municipalities and the province.
Ohrt said that if any one of the towns in the Crowsnest Pass were to exceed a population of 5,000, the province would provide funding assistance for policing.
Alberta’s Provincial Police Services employ about 1600 RCMP members. The 2014 budget, which is just under $250,000 million, provides funding for the hiring of another 40 RCMP members.
The Crowsnest Pass detachment employs nine members; a commanding sergeant, a corporal and seven constables.
July 2nd ~ Vol. 84 No. 26
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