Property crimes spike

Police are cracking down on organized crime and making headway when it comes to safer youth and safe roads, according to the Red Deer RCMP’s annual policing report.

Police are cracking down on organized crime and making headway when it comes to safer youth and safe roads, according to the Red Deer RCMP’s annual policing report.

But the year-to-end results show a significant spike in total property crimes from Jan. 1 to Sept. 30 over the last five years.

In 2015 there were 10,034 total property crimes compared to 9,506 in 2014 and 7,342 in 2011.

RCMP Insp. Gerald Grobmeier said this may be attributed to the growth in Red Deer’s population, the downturn in the economy or that people are reporting more crimes.

“It’s probably a combination of everything,” he said.

Criminal code offences, such as disturbing the peace and offensive weapons, have stayed relatively the same with 16,313 in 2015 compared to 16,241 in 2014 and 14,297 in 2011.

Total persons crimes were down to 2,117 in 2015 compared to 2,336 in 2014 and 2,567 in 2011. This includes crimes such as robberies, sexual assault and utter threats.

Grobmeier said the downward trend is common throughout the country. He said it could be a combination of better education, better programs and more calls to the police.

The second quarter APP results, released last week, provided an update on the five policing objectives between July 1 and Sept. 30, 2015.

Grobmeier said the police have reached its targets in four of the five areas — reducing impact of organized crime, reducing crimes against persons, contributing to safer youth and safe roads. Police have had some early success with its Priority Crimes Task Force which focuses on specific targets and identifying those criminals who have the biggest impact on communities. The task force is made up of police officers from Red Deer RCMP General Investigative Section (GIS), Sylvan Lake, Innisfail and Blackfalds RCMP detachments and is supported by Lacombe Police Service.

Police fell short in the area of property crimes in the second quarter.

The objective is to have the fraud unit provide information on how to project against fraud.

But Grobmeier said there was no one in the position to deliver the presentations until recently.

“We anticipate by the end of the fourth quarter, we will have met our objectives,” he said.

Supt. Scott Tod will report to city council sometime in the new year. The APP is part of council’s safety charter, a major workplan that aims to enable and promote a safer community.

City manager Craig Curtis said crime prevention and community safety will continue to be a priority for the city.

“We will continue to work with RCMP to set meaningful targets to identify areas in need of increased attention to ensure citizens continue to feel safe and have a good quality of life,” he said in a news release.

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