Ponoka crime levels remaining fairly stable

Detachment staff shortage has cut traffic enforcement inside Ponoka

Crime in Ponoka is staying relatively stable while traffic enforcement has taken a hit in 2018.

Ponoka RCMP Sgt. Chris Smiley spoke to council at a recent meeting about Ponoka’s crime files. The update covered data for the eight month period from January to September of 2018.

Smiley pointed out that the number of stolen vehicle cases along with break and enters went up slightly over 2017 — with break-ins up nine to 41 and vehicle thefts up six to 54.

Files involving assaults, uttering threats and harassment though, have increased significantly. Assaults sit at 154, a jump of 46 over the same period last year, while harassment is at 34, an increase of 16. Uttering threats has more than doubled to 54 from the 22 in 2017.

Nearly all of those cases stem from domestic violence calls, Smiley noted, but the numbers make it appear more nefarious than it actually is.

“The thing about statistics is, it can tell us a lot of information,” he stated, “and every now and then, they are going to tell us the truth as well.”

For example, Smiley explained that a look at the kidnapping figure — five this year so far versus one over the same time in 2017 — shows a 500 per cent jump.

“That would be misleading. Every one of those files is domestic violence related and the actual charge was unlawful confinement,” he stated.

“That can mean something as big as refusing to allow someone out of a home for days or something as simple as not letting someone leave a room. I don’t want to minimize domestic violence, but the majority of these charges — assaults, threats and others — are on the lower end like a grab or a push. We do see some more serious in nature, but a few years ago police lost all discretion when it comes to laying charges related to domestic violence.”

Fewer tickets?

Smiley also touched on another hot topic in Ponoka — proactive traffic enforcement.

“We are short four general duty members and overtime is also an issue,” Smiley stated.

The shortage is not unique to the detachment.

He referenced the work being done around the schools and along 57 Avenue as places where enforcement seems to be making the biggest difference.

“Most people like it, until it catches them. (Traffic enforcement) is a delicate balancing act,” Smiley added.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre host Respect Day on May 24th

Event features BBQ, Country Pride line dancers, Indigenous drummers,dancers, and information booths

Ellis Bird Farm opens 2019 with book unveil of Charlie, Winnie and the Bluebirds

Site Manager Myrna Pearman documented the history of central Alberta’s natural treasure

Ponoka RCMP respond to intoxicated male in Golden Leisure Lodge

On May 15, 2019 the Ponoka RCMP responded to a complaint of… Continue reading

Town to sign five-year policing agreement with Ponoka Stampede

The Town of Ponoka will go ahead with a five-year renewable agreement… Continue reading

UPDATED: Ponoka RCMP arrest male on Canada wide warrant

UPDATE for Immediate Release: Collin James Courteoreille was wanted on a Canada… Continue reading

BREAKING: Court says B.C. can’t restrict oil shipments in key case for Trans Mountain

A five-judge Appeal Court panel agreed unanimously that B.C.’s proposed legislation was not constitutional

Theresa May to quit as party leader June 7, sparking race for new PM

The new Conservative leader will become prime minister without the need for a general election

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

Red Deer man arrested in connection with Leduc armed robbery

Leduc RCMP asking for public assistance after armed robbery – UPDATE

School bus crash in Edmonton sends 12 to hospital, 2 with broken bones

Alberta Health Services said there were no life-threatening injuries

Crews fight fire with fire to keep blaze from northern Alberta town

The wildfire now covers some 920 square kilometres

Supreme Court of Canada won’t hear Alberta murder appeals

Sheena Cuthill and her husband Timothy Rempel were found guilty three years ago of killing Ryan Lane

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

Canada stripping citizenship from Chinese man over alleged marriage fraud

The move comes amid severely strained relations between Ottawa and Beijing

Most Read