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

Maskwacis and feds sign historic education agreement

The Maskwacis Education School Commission signed an agreement setting the stage for their education

UPDATE: Puppies rescued at structure fire in Lacombe

The Bentley Fire Department assisted Lacombe in a structure fire where crews saved some puppies

Trial for man accused of 2006 Eckville murder “unreasonably delayed”

Lacombe’s Shayne Gulka is awaiting trial for the 2006 murder of Bradley Webber

Producers are already charging customers for recycle services

Fixed recycle fees are built-in to packaging rates by producers across the country.

Bringing composting to Ponoka is a simple step

For $2 extra per month, Ponoka residents can see compost collections

VIDEO: Canadians rise for early-morning Royal wedding celebrations

Canadians gathered for early-morning broadcast of marriage between Meghan Markle, Prince Harry

Las Vegas Golden Knights move on to Stanley Cup final

Improbable run continues for NHL’s newest expansion team

Oregon’s flooded recreational pot market a cautionary tale to B.C.

‘In a broader sense, we are adding legal production to an already robust illegal production’

3 survivors after airliner with 110 aboard crashes in Cuba

It was Cuba’s worst aviation disaster in three decades and its third major air accident since 2010

Individuals face 84 criminal charges related to stolen, counterfeit credit cards

Investigation and search warrant executed collaboratively by Red Deer and Sylvan Lake RCMP

Plane with 104 on board crashes on takeoff in Cuba

Boeing 737 operated by state airline Cubana crashed on takeoff from Jose Marti International Airport

UPDATED: Gunman opens fire in Texas high school, killing up to 10

Santa Fe High School which went on lockdown around 8 a.m. Friday

Coroner speaks about mix-up of Humboldt Broncos crash victims, release of name

A coroner involved says it wasn’t until an injured player woke up in hospital and said he was a different person that officials realized the mistake

‘Nowhere near close:’ U.S. rebuffs Trudeau hope for quick NAFTA deal

The United States declared the NAFTA countries were nowhere close to a deal in a statement Thursday

Most Read