The crime figures for the first eight months of 2017 show rates have remained consistent over the same period for the last three years for Ponoka County.
Ponoka RCMP Staff Sgt. Mike Numan paid a visit to county council’s meeting on Oct. 10 to provide an update on the crime statistics.
“As for property crimes, they are down slightly from the same time last year, but still higher than normal. That is still a huge problem, not only in our area, but pretty much everywhere in Alberta,” said Numan.
On the property side of the ledger, there were 199 files for Ponoka County with mischief, to property, along with break and enter files making up just over half of those. The bulk of the rest are motor vehicle thefts (25), theft under $5,000 (26) and possession of stolen goods (27). For persons crimes, the majority are assaults, at 17, while criminal harassment sits at 10.
“Pretty brazen criminals too,” he said, noting several violent carjackings and hit and runs have taken place in the province recently.
“If there is one thing I would continue to push is having rural residents ensure they lock up their homes, vehicles and out-buildings while also not leaving vehicles running or items like wallets and cellphones lying within view. The harder you can make it for potential thieves, the more likely it will be they will avoid that target.”
Numan stated that drug crimes in the rural area are down by around half, which is more indicative of not having made arrests in the county as opposed to the problem going away.
Another item Numan made note of for council was the county’s status among the rest of the province’s municipalities on the RCMP’s crime severity index — a rating of the number of calls and types of crimes that are occurring in a community.
“The county is ranked 56th on this index, while Ponoka is sitting at number nine,” Numan said.
“While Ponoka is up there, there are about 20 other municipalities right around that mark.”
Got a ticket?
The other significant statistics with regards to the county involve motor vehicle collisions and the amount of tickets being issued for traffic violations. Collisions so far amount to 179 — which include one fatality, 12 injury motor vehicle collisions, 129 reportable and 37 non-reportable (less than $2,000 in damages).
“Reportable collisions are down, the lowest in five years,” he stated, noting he has no explanation as to a reason why.
“Though there are still a ton of tickets being written, more than 1,000 and that includes the (Ponoka) Integrated Traffic Unit who patrol Highway 2.”