Ponoka’s criminal activity in April reviewed

One of the ways to know the current state of affairs with regards to crime prevention is to review the statistics ...

  • May. 30, 2012 5:00 p.m.

One of the ways to know the current state of affairs with regards to crime prevention is to review the statistics; it is a realistic look at what is happening. This month information for April was presented to town councillors May 22.

Staff Sgt. Cameron Chisholm helped make sense of some of the numbers in the report, which tend to fluctuate from month to month.

“These are basically crimes that are reported to police, and remember that not everything gets reported,” explained Chisholm.

Assault numbers are down for the end of April year-to-date, with 40 assaults compared to 57 in April 2011. Chisholm said there could be a variety of reasons, but police would rather see fewer offences than more.

There were 69 cases of theft under $5,000, an increase of 18 cases. Over the period Chisholm said the range of thefts is fairly large. “It is a wide variety of thefts, you could have theft of utilities.”

As temperatures rise, there tends to be an increase in these types of theft, what Chisholm called “seasonal crimes.” Minus 30 degree C weather could be a deterrent.

There were 66 cases of reportable property damage from motor vehicle accidents; reportable means any damage over $2,000 must be reported to police, down from 88 last year. What Chisholm is more concerned with is the number of injuries and fatalities from these accidents. Lowering the number of injuries can decrease the money being spent for health care.

“Injuries not only impact the quality of life of the individual, but also the health system and possibly the legal system,” he explained.

There have been no fatalities and only one injury for the year, the same as last year.

Police have had 82 requests to locate individuals, up from 26 in 2011.

“Most of them are probably overdue kids; runaways under the ward of a guardian, they (guardians) have a duty to report that,” he said.

Chisholm also gave the example of senior Daniel Arsneau who recently went missing from the Centennial Centre.

The report also shows a category called ‘other.’ Chisholm said the crimes that fall under this class are anything besides crimes against persons or property. “It’s an offence like disturb the peace.”

The offender may not necessarily have hurt anyone or stolen anything, but their actions broke the law. Police tend to have a higher clearance rate, or solved crimes, against people rather than property. The difference being if someone is assaulted they generally know who their attacker is, but in the example of items stolen from a car with no witnesses, it can be more difficult to find the culprits.

Chisholm said police evaluate their work to find trends in criminal activity, but there is no real way for them to know why statistics fluctuate, except to conduct an in-depth study. “It could be a variety of things.”

The report does not show who commits the offences either; police don’t usually see if criminal activity is from residents of Ponoka or people from other municipalities.

“We don’t break our information down by who does what,” he stated.

Police use these reports to get an understanding of what is happening in town. Their goal though is to have the highest number of cases solved and to keep the community safe.

“We’re not in it for reports, we’re in it to solve crime and make the community safer,” he stated.

By Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye

Just Posted

Ponoka’s on the CP Holiday Train stop coming in December

The train starts up Nov. 27 featuring performers Terri Clark, Sierra Noble and Kelly Prescott

Ponoka County fire crews handle second baler fire in 12 hours

Fire crews handled a baler fire just west of Gull Lake

Red Deer RCMP ask for assistance to ID suspect in indecent acts

The suspect exposed himself to a woman and made sexual comments to her

WCPS uses cannabis legislation to fully review drug, alcohol and tobacco policies

Cannabis is not permitted in schools; WCPS focused on providing education and support

Puff, puff, pass: Cannabis is officially legal across Canada

Alberta readies itself for cannabis sales with 17 stores (for now) and a new provincial website

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

Canada condemns killing of journalist in Saudi Arabia consulate in Turkey

The Saudi government claimed Jamal Khashoggi was killed in a ‘fistfight’

One year to election: Trudeau Liberals gear up for tussles on climate, premiers

Analysts say that the Liberals have reason to be ‘fairly confident’

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

Police say suspicious death of B.C. artist ruled a homicide

Patrick Zube Aylward’s body was found in a residence on a rural road outside of Seton Portage, west of Lillooet, B.C.

Temporary roads being built in areas affected by landslide in northern B.C.

Emergency Management BC news release says Disaster Financial Assistance is available to eligible residents of the Peace River Regional District who may have been affected by the landslides

Most Read