Stats show crime decrease in Red Deer

Preliminary statistics from 2013 show crime levels in Red Deer down nearly 10 per cent from the year prior, a year when the city was particularly hard hit with crimes to both persons and property.

Preliminary statistics from 2013 show crime levels in Red Deer down nearly 10 per cent from the year prior, a year when the city was particularly hard hit with crimes to both persons and property.

There were fewer robberies, sexual offences, assaults and break and enters in the city in 2013, contributing to an overall 9.8 per cent decrease from 2012. The 2013 numbers are preliminary and do not include some files from late in the year that will ultimately push the totals up.

The preliminary numbers reveal 3,042 crimes against persons in 2013, down almost 19 per cent from 3,743 in 2012. The number of property crimes fell by more than 800 to 10,782 for the year, a decrease of seven per cent.

The decrease almost completely reverses the 11 per cent increase in the crime rate realized between 2011 and 2012. In the past year, council committed to hiring eight more RCMP officers for the city and the local Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT) targeting organized crime was set up.

“If you target those people who are causing all the crime, and get those people in jail, you’re going to be effective and lower the crime rate. Now that that section is up and running, that’s a great benefit to the area,” said Red Deer RCMP acting police superintendent David Elliott.

He said 2013 crime numbers are similar to statistics from 2008. In 2012, there was a lot more crime activity in the city, he said.

Mayor Tara Veer echoed the sentiment that ALERT has made a difference in reducing crime across the board by targeting organized crime and those in the drug trade.

She said there have been philosophical shifts in the city’s attitude towards public safety as evidenced by the municipal budgets of 2013 and this year, “from more reactive policing where a call comes in and they respond if it’s an emergency situation to more proactive policing, where there’s actually time allocated within an officer’s work shift where they can proactively investigate and follow up with concerns.”

In the past year, city council adopted a policing standards model that set guidelines for response times to the most urgent cases. Veer said this year she would like to see improved responses to smaller incidents as well.

“Right now most of the frustration that we hear from citizens with respect to when they call for a police response is around the priority three calls. Those are important calls, but non-emergency calls. We’re looking at doing a pilot for that in the coming year,” she said.

Her personal goal, she said, is to make headway going forward in reducing crimes on persons, particularly violent crimes. The city was blighted by six murders in 2011, earning it the dubious distinction of being named the second most dangerous city in Canada by Maclean’s magazine.

In both 2012 and 2013 there were only two homicides reported. Offences related to death, sexual offences, and assaults were all down significantly in 2013, but cases of kidnappings/abductions and extortion rose.

Among property crimes, there were more fraud cases reported in 2013 and there was a 24 per cent increase in motor vehicle thefts. Elliott said in 2013 there was an group of thieves that specifically targeted Ford trucks, driving up numbers.

The number of RCMP personnel working in Red Deer sits at 131 right now, with 72 officers on the front line responding to calls, according to Elliott. Last summer council approved the hiring of eight new officers for the force to start in the fall — four for the front line and four supervisors — and while people have been hired for those positions, some of the officers are still not yet in Red Deer because they have been unable to sell their houses in the communities of their current/former postings.

mfish@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A woman walks through Toronto’s financial district on Monday, July 30, 2018. A new poll suggests most Canadians believe there’s still a long way to go to achieve gender equality in this country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Canadians, especially women, say gender equality not achieved in Canada: Poll

63 per cent said equality between men and women has not been achieved

FILE - In this March 3, 2021, file photo, anti-coup protesters run as one of them discharges a fire extinguisher to counter the impact of tear gas fired by riot policemen in Yangon, Myanmar. The escalation of violence in Myanmar as authorities crack down on protests against the Feb. 1 coup is adding to pressure for more sanctions against the junta, as countries struggle over how to best confront military leaders inured to global condemnation. (AP Photo/File)
Escalating violence raises pressure for Myanmar sanctions

More shootings were reported over the weekend

A moth-killing drone hovers over crops in a green house in Monster, Netherlands, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. A Dutch startup is using drones to kill moths in midair as a way of protecting valuable crops in greenhouses that are damaged by caterpillars. PATS Indoor Drone Solutions emerged from the work of a group of students looking for ways to kill mosquitos in their dorm rooms. The drones themselves are very basic, but they are steered by smart technology and special cameras that scan the airspace in greenhouses. When the cameras detect a moth, a drone is set on a collision course with the bug, destroying the bug with its rotors. (AP Photo/Mike Corder)
Drones vs hungry moths: Dutch use hi-tech to protect crops

Drones instantly kill the moths by flying into them

Health-care worker Jenne Saunders prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Palais de Congress site as Quebec begins mass vaccinations based on age across the province on March 1, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada set to receive more than 910,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines this week

Federal government looks for vaccine-makers to finalize delivery of eight million doses by March 31

Statistics Canada’s offices at Tunny’s Pasture in Ottawa are shown on Friday, March 8, 2019. Newly released documents show Statistics Canada considered delaying this year’s census until 2022 over pandemic-related concerns. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Statistics Canada considered delaying this year’s census to 2022 due to pandemic

A census takes seven years between the start of planning to the release of data

Ben King scores for the Red Deer Rebels during the third period of a Western Hockey League game against the Calgary Hitmen at the Westerner Park Centrium Saturday. (Photo by Rob Wallator/Red Deer Rebels)
Rebels complete comeback to pick up first win of season

Rebels 3 Hitmen 2 (OT) The Red Deer Rebels were able to… Continue reading

Hamilton Forge FC’s Giuliano Frano (8) heads the ball against CD Olimpia’s Jorge Benguche (9) during Scotiabank CONCACAF League 2019 second half soccer action in Hamilton, Ont., Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019. Forge FC owner Bob Young says the Canadian Premier League champions will be playing the Canadian Championship final against Toronto FC at a disadvantage. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power
Forge FC owner upset at Canada Soccer’s timing of Canadian Championship final

Winner of Canadian Championship final earns a berth in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League

Team Wild Card Two skip Kevin Koe reacts to his shot as he plays Team Newfoundland and Labrador at the Brier in Calgary, Alta., on March 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Wild Card Two’s Koe beats Gushue 9-7 to hand defending champs first loss at the Brier

Gushue was a tad heavy with his final draw and Koe picked it out for the victory

(Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No regrets: Grammy-nominated DJ Jayda G on choosing beats over sciences career

TORONTO — House music producer Jayda G knows a thing or two… Continue reading

This image provided by Harpo Productions shows Prince Harry, left, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, speaking about expecting their second child during an interview with Oprah Winfrey. “Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special” airs March 7 as a two-hour exclusive primetime special on the CBS Television Network. (Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions via AP)
UK royals absorb shock of revealing Harry, Meghan interview

Anti-monarchy group Republic said the interview gave a clearer picture of what the royal family is like

Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan takes part in a year-end interview with The Canadian Press at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa on December 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Conservatives to call top Sajjan, Trudeau aides to testify on Vance allegations

OTTAWA — The federal Conservatives plan to summon two senior Liberal aides… Continue reading

Elvira D'Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Several provinces were preparing to loosen COVID-19 restrictions on Sunday, as Canada’s… Continue reading

Mount Pearl Senior High in Mount Pearl, N.L., remains closed on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. The provincial health authority says there were 185 cases at 22 schools, including 145 infections among staff and students of one high school in Mount Pearl that was an early epicentre of the outbreak. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Daly
In Newfoundland and Labrador, three ingredients made for explosive COVID-19 outbreak

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — With her classes, three part-time jobs and a… Continue reading

A passenger places a tag on luggage at the departure terminal at Toronto Pearson Airport, in Mississauga, Ont., Friday, May 24, 2019. The economic and life disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted many recent immigrants to leave Canada and return to their countries of origin, where they have more social and familial connections. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
COVID-19 pandemic prompts recent newcomers to leave Canada for their home countries

OTTAWA — The economic and life disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic… Continue reading

Most Read