Five-hour stretch in afternoon a busy time for city RCMP

Close to 30 per cent of all phone calls to Red Deer RCMP are received during a five-hour afternoon period, according to the first draft report of a major review on policing.

Close to 30 per cent of all phone calls to Red Deer RCMP are received during a five-hour afternoon period, according to the first draft report of a major review on policing.

Consultants Perivale and Taylor are looking at police workload as part of a $150,000 Crime Prevention and Policing Study Update and Policing Service Model Review. They have found that 29.5 per cent of complaints to the city detachment come between 1 and 6 p.m.

On average, a five-hour period (about 21 per cent of the day) is associated with just under 30 per cent of the calls.

The majority of complaints, 80 per cent, come to the attention of police via phone. The next largest proportion, at 8.5 per cent, involve walk-ins to the detachment.

The 15 most frequent calls for service overall from January 2009 to June 2010 involved traffic collisions (7.4 per cent), disturbing the peace (6.5 per cent), false alarms (5.7 per cent), theft under $5,000 (5.5 per cent) and violation of municipal bylaws (five per cent).

These 15 calls for service take up nearly 60 per cent of officers’ time, suggest consultants Perivale and Taylor.

Most calls for service come from Zone 3 (22.4 per cent), the downtown core. There are 18 zones in the city.

“What is known is that the bulk of the calls for service, 85 per cent, are considered ‘routine,’ ” says the report.

While January, February and March were relatively consistent in terms of calls for 2009 and 2010, the volume of calls went up from April to June 2010 compared with the similar time frame in 2009.

This initial information will be presented to city council on Monday.

The city is updating the 2005 Crime Prevention and Policing Study, which looked at crime levels, best practices for crime prevention, and calls for change ranging from RCMP staffing to beneficial adjustments within the justice system.

It will also analyze whether a municipal police force would be a good fit for Alberta’s third largest city of about 90,000 people.

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com