2015 crime statistics paint mixed picture

Theft under $5,000, vehicle theft and other property crimes continue to rise in Red Deer.

Theft under $5,000, vehicle theft and other property crimes continue to rise in Red Deer.

Police released the 2015 crime statistics on Tuesday indicating there were 13,814 property crimes in 2015, compared to 13,040 in 2014.

The biggest jump was in theft under $5,000 with 5,430 reported crimes compared to 4,915 in 2014. There was a slight decrease in break and enter crimes to 1,120 from 1,124, and a larger drop in fraud crimes to 969 from 1,092.

RCMP Supt. Scott Tod said there was a considerable increase in total property crimes 2014 (13,040) from 2013 (11,129) but a marginal increase over the last two years.

“I think it is a positive sign,” said Tod. “You have to take into account the community is growing. Each year we get more people moving into the city. Break and enters are a little bit lower than they were last year. So there are some good news areas in the property crime and I like to attribute through our work through the task force.”

But the statistics also show a decrease in total persons crimes such as robbery, assault and kidnapping to 2,816 compared to 3,018 in 2014. The biggest drop was in criminal harassment to 193 from 363 in 2014.

“This is the lowest it’s been in four years,” said Tod. “That’s a good sign. I’d like to think through our targeting prolific offenders and monitoring high risk domestic offenders, we’ve had some role in that. We can’t take credit for it because it has been on a downward trend.”

The number of reported fraud victims has decreased slightly in the third quarter, despite the continued proliferation of new and recurring scams.

The police also released its Annual Policing Plan third quarter results (Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2015). The five objectives in the plan were set by the police, the city and council.

It showed police are exceeding its targets to disrupt criminal organizations, increasing charges against impaired drivers and educating the public about fraud. A new plan is expected to be released after the fourth quarter on April 1.

“They were relevant and meaningful objectives,” said Tod. “I think we put some initiatives and measures and targets in place.”

In the first three quarters, police disrupted nine medium level crime networks.

Police have also increased impaired driving charges in the city by 21 per cent, well above the original five per cent target.

Tod does not expect the objectives to change that much in the next plan.

“When you have good objectives that are relevant to the community, you don’t often see a change,” said Tod. “Organized crime is a concern. Property crime is a concern. That doesn’t change but the initiatives that we put in place, change year to year.”

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com

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