Figures released recently by Statistics Canada indicate there were fewer crimes across the nation in 2011 compared to 2010.
However Melville/Ituna RCMP S/Sgt. Ewan Booth says these figures are difficult to interpret.
“You have to be careful when you read these types of statistics,” says Booth.
“They say Regina has the highest crime rate (per capita) in the country but really if we had one or two murders here they would say we have the highest crime rate per capita.”
Canadian police services reported almost two million Criminal Code (excluding traffic) incidents in 2011, about 110,000 fewer than in 2010.
Among the provinces, Saskatchewan had the highest Crime Severity Index (CSI) in 2011 and Regina and Saskatoon reported the highest CSI value out of 239 Canadian cities.
“I would be reluctant to say crime has gone up or down in this area,” says Booth. “It’s sporadic. We identify with certain individuals in the area who continue to commit offenses.
“In other cases we have prolific offenders who cause disturbances and nuisance-type crimes. They inflate our crime rate and often only get a slap on the wrist. We are treating them differently now and really trying to get them in the courts.”
He says although crime might not have increased over the past year, the number of offenses reported has risen because the public is more aware and thanks to organizations like Crimestoppers it’s easier to apprehend lawbreakers.
“There is also a drug issue within the area. Drugs like marijuana and methamphetamine are not only being brought into the area from larger cities but are also being made in the city.”
In the Melville/Ituna detachment area Booth says crimes like drinking and driving and driving under the influence of drugs are common offenses. Property damage and vehicle thefts from people coming from out of town are also issues within the area. Booth says cases of domestic or spousal abuse do occur in the city but they are few and far between.