Police saw a decrease in impaired driving in August

Estevan saw only seven impaired/exceed-related driving charges in August.

Crime statistics were discussed during the latest Estevan board of police commissioners meeting. On the year to date basis, the number of impaired/exceed-related driving violations went down 26 per cent, from 81 in the first eight months of 2019 to only 60 this year.

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No drivers were charged for impaired by drug driving, but there were three cases of dangerous driving. In total, Criminal Code traffic violations went down 28 per cent on a year to date basis with only 79 offences this year as opposed to 110 violations over the first eight months last year.

"We are on track and we started seeing a positive impact from all our work related to impaired driving," Chief Paul Ladouceur said.

Crimes against person went up 16 per cent on the year to date basis from 79 last year to 92 this year. But August 2020 in particular saw a slight decrease in this type of crime with nine cases in total as opposed to 12 cases in August 2019. Five assaults, one assault causing bodily harm and three sexual crimes were reported this past August in Estevan.

There was also a slight increase of seven per cent in crimes against property on a year to date basis from 213 cases last year to 228 this year. However, in this case, again August 2020 saw lower numbers than what it was a year ago. There were a total of 38 crimes against property, including three residential break and enters, two thefts over $5,000, 16 thefts under $5,000 and 17 cases of mischief/willful damage (on a year to date basis the number of mischief cases went up from 87 to 112 this year).

Ladouceur explained that some of the crimes against property were committed by the same individuals.

There were four charges of possession of controlled drugs or substances this August as opposed to six similar cases and another case of trafficking in August 2019. The year to date statistics of Controlled Drug and Substance Act violations remained on par with the last year with 31 cases in total.

No one was charged for violating the Cannabis Act in August and in 2020 altogether.

Calls overall were down 2,5 per cent, which Ladouceur attributed to the general decrease in activity due to the pandemic.

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Special Constable Morgan Prentice, who is the bylaw enforcement officer, was busy throughout August with 28 animal calls, 13 parking violations, two calls related to cat traps, 109 unkempt property inspections, one summons and five other bylaw enforcement calls.

On the year to date basis, the bylaw enforcement officer dealt with 192 parking violations, as opposed to 156 last year. She also conducted 506 unkempt property inspections as opposed to 217 up to the end of August 2019.

In comparison to the same period in 2019, there was a significant decrease in animal calls (108 this year vs. 235 last year), parking complaints (40 vs. 144) and other bylaw issues (23 vs. 92).

Ladouceur praised the bylaw enforcement officer for her work and focus on unkempt properties. He also noted that some individuals recently paid their ticket with bills covered with abusive expressions towards the police, which he categorized as "highly unprofessional" and said that the situation will be followed up.

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