Property crimes for 2017 increased in Ponoka

Overal crimes in 2017 dropped compared to 2016, except for property crimes

Ponoka RCMP are looking at a few factors this year to tackle crime in the community.

Acting Staff Sgt. Chris Smiley spoke to council April 24 during the regular meeting about those initiatives and on the RCMP Annual Performance Plan (APP), something that the detachment uses every year as a focus.

“Overall the statistics in 2017, most of the categories went down from 2016.”

“We actually had a decrease of 27 per cent (135 survey files in 2017 compared to 185 in 2016) in spousal abuse,” said Smiley.

Despite some of these drops, property crimes in the last five years have increased. Some of the issues RCMP face is in having to deal with repeat offenders.

While the police have no say in who stays in court or is on recognizance for a crime, they can monitor individuals, said Smiley. “We have gone to great efforts in tracking these people.”

The purpose of this initiative is about deterring crime and criminal activity, and in some cases individuals get tired of the police attention and leave the community. There is also a habitual offender program that individuals can sign up for to try and change their life style.

“Ideally people change their habits…other times we’ll see people through enforcement get incarcerated.”

Other areas of focus

This year RCMP are looking at how they handle prisoners in cells, plus dealing with victims of sexual assaults.

There were two sexual assault investigations in 2017 compared to seven in 2016.

“We’re looking at our practice with those files,” said Smiley, adding that there’s been some criticism of the RCMP methods in these types of investigations.

Another thing that keeps RCMP busy is dealing with missing persons files. Some of that has to do with patients coming to and from the Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury.

On top of that, RCMP handle various calls related to mental health concerns.

Coun. Kevin Ferguson asked about concerns of property crime that residents have questioned him on. “Is it the economy?” he asked.

Smiley said municipal and rural property crimes show they are a little higher in town. But rural break and enters are higher than in town. A bad year for that was in 2015 but Smiley was reluctant to say that the economy is the only factor.

“Personally I see addiction as being a bigger problem,” said Smiley.

These individuals tend to have education gaps and other issues where they end up with challenges with drug addictions that feed the crime.

In Alberta, the province saw property crime increase by four percent from 2016 to 2017. Along with that, motor vehicle thefts increased by 19 per cent and possession of stolen goods files increased by 28 per cent.

Ponoka County saw break and enter files increase to 83, up from 51 in 2016. Motor vehicle thefts also increased to 54, from 39. The Town of Ponoka saw 40 break and enter files in 2017, down from 68 in 2016. Motor vehicle thefts went up to 66, compared to 51 in 2016 for the town.

Another part of the APP is employee and member wellness, explained Smiley. The goal is to ensure Mounties have a healthy mental health.

It’s an area of focus that RCMP are working on ensuring police have a way to manage stress.

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