The Estevan Police Service (EPS) has been putting a lot of effort into combating impaired driving, which is now paying dividends.
The latest police crime report shows significant changes in the year to date statistics. The total Criminal Code traffic violations went down from 41 in 2018 to just 22 in 2019, which is a 46 per cent decrease, with the most significant changes observed in impaired/exceed related (from 37 to 19 cases) and impaired by drug (from three to zero cases). Police Chief Paul Ladouceur and Mayor Roy Ludwig credited the work of the police as well as the input from Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) and SGI in this fight.
Other types of crimes also went down in comparison to this time last year. Drug-related cases were down 83 per cent (from 24 to four); crimes against property went down 22 per cent (from 68 to 53), and crimes against person were down 30 per cent (from 30 to 21).
Ladouceur talked about the nature of these changes.
“Some people attribute it to the downturn of the oil and economy and things like that. Often when the economy goes down the crime goes up. Can some of that be attributed to the economy or decline in the population in the region? Sure, it can. But the numbers we are seeing go beyond that and I think members of the service certainly deserve a good credit for making that happen. It’s nice to see that,” Ladouceur said.
The police chief also pointed out that so far the EPS is well under budget, which may change throughout the year, but the department is working hard to maintain the commitment to come under budget by the end of 2019.
The bylaw enforcement officer has also reported some positive changes on a year to date basis. Parking complaints finally started to go down (from 75 to 56).
“A lot of that is attributed to the increase that we put into parking tickets. And it wasn’t a substantial increase, but enough to make it. When we talked before, the parking ticket in Estevan was the cost of parking in Regina,” said Ladouceur.
He believes the increase made more people spend a little bit extra time to find a proper parking option thus avoiding tickets.
On the other hand, there was an increase in animal-related calls (from 26 in 2018 to 73 in 2019) and animal impounds (from one to 10). The situation has changed due to weather and a general increase in the number of animals and especially cats in town.
Besides, there were more of other bylaw-related occurrences (from nine to 30 cases on year to year basis), which included noise bylaw, business licence bylaw, body rub and massage parlor bylaw and some other issues. It’s a due time for a lot of businesses to pay their lisenses, and failures to do so on schedule along with massage parlor walk-through issues resulted in the increase in statistics.
Moreover, the number of unkempt property inspections was up from 12 to 22, and the snow removal notices were up from 16 to 81, while the skunk traps weren’t requested at all so far this year (as opposed to seven requests by this time last year).