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Crime down in Cranbrook

Almost all crime was down in the second quarter of 2014, when compared to the fourth quarter of 2013, representatives of the Cranbrook RCMP told mayor and council at the Monday, Aug. 18 council meeting.

Staff Sgt. David Dubnyk and Sgt. Brendan McKenna presented the mayor’s report.

“Overall, in almost all areas, whether it’s criminal code or calls for service to assist the public in one way or another are down almost everywhere,” Sgt. McKenna said.

“The two things that are most at note here, one is the drug file charges which were significantly less in this particular quarter compared to the previous quarter in 2013. It shows that is is down 68 per cent, from 19 charges in 2013 to six charges in 2014.”

McKenna said the reasons for this aren’t clear.

“From my conversation with the corporal in charge of that drug enforcement unit that’s been active here for a couple of years says that essentially most of this is due to the fact that the bigger players have been removed from the street and locked up,” he said. “So this really shows the effect of crime reduction in that area.”

“So this really shows the effect of crime reduction in that area,” McKenna said.

The other area he highlighted was regarding Immediate Roadside Prohibitions. In the 2013 period there were, in 2014 there were 37, a 411 per cent increase.

McKenna noted that the program was challenged in the courts and the courts ruled against some of the processes that were undertaken by police.

“The IRP was retuned and has been employed again,” he said. “Since it’s come back online in its revised version it’s been very effective.”

Mayor Wayne Stetski said this was a positive report and he asked how safe the sergeant would rate Cranbrook.

“I’ve worked in a number of communities in British Columbia,”McKenna said. “I’ve lived in the north, I’ve lived in the Lower Mainland and I’ve lived here and this is probably the safest community I’ve ever lived in.”

Person Offences, which include assaults, sexual assaults, assault with a weapon, robbery, threats and criminal harassment were down by 67 per cent. The second quarter of 2014 had 32 person offences reported, while the fourth quarter of 2013 had 96.

Property related offences include things like break, enter and theft and mischief to property, they were down 21 per cent. The period in 2014 had 227, while the period in 2013 had 286.

The category of Other Criminal Code offences, consists of Causing a Disturbance, Breach/Bail Violations, Firearms offences, public mischief, obstructing a police officer and counterfeit currency. There were 123 such instances in the period for 2014, down from 160 in the 2013 period.

Coun. Gerry Warner asked about the frequency of distracted drivers.

McKenna said they will sometimes work with East Kootenay Traffic Services, but the report didn’t capture stats on that.

“I know this is something that needs to be addressed,” he said. “I can tell you from personal experience just driving down the strip, I never drive down the strip without seeing half a dozen people on their cell phones. I think that’s one area we could really use some attention.”

McKenna said they would be adding that for the next quarterly report.

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