The RCMP were at Battleford town council Monday, providing an update on second-quarter crime statistics that was far from encouraging compared to last year’s numbers.
Down were break and enters, from eight to five, car accidents, from four to two, and property offences, from 58 to 52.
Otherwise, every category showed large rises, and youth involvement rose in every category as well. Person offences nearly doubled from 15 to 28, drug offences nearly tripled from seven to 19, liquor act offences increased from seven to 10, and provincial traffic offences went up from 109 to 167. Drunk driving offences also lodged a large increase, from four in the second quarter of 2011 to 11 this second quarter.
Youth involvement also increased greatly. Criminal code offences were almost unchanged from last year, rising from 28 to 29, but youth involvement doubled from six to 13. Property offences also involved a total of eight young offenders compared to three last year, and provincial traffic offences were committed by 11 youths, compared to none for the same period last year.
Despite the seeming severity of the numbers, S. Sgt. Phil Wilson explained that, with the exception of the rise in person offences, most other categories reflected an increase in police personnel rather than an increase in lawlessness. In particular, the number of drug offences, liquor act violations, provincial traffic offences, and drunk driving offences reflected an increase in self-generated work more than a general increase in lawlessness.
With these categories left out, the only significant rise is in person offences, which the RCMP have little power to prevent.
But regardless of the increase in self-generated work, total calls for assistance are more than double last year’s (from seven to 14 this quarter and from 30 to 58 for the first half of the year) and calls for service have also increased greatly, from 471 in the first half of 2011 to 660 this year.
Also included was a summary of statistics from the second quarters of 2010-2012, showing that the only consistent rises have been in categories related to self-generated work. Criminal Code, drug, liquor act, provincial traffic and drunk driving offences have all shown increases every year, as have calls for assistance. Otherwise only business break and enters have shown consistent declines, with most other categories hovering around the same numbers.