While overall it appears crime has been trending down in the Drumheller Detachment area, the first quarter of 2021 showed some significant changes.
In the urban and rural areas of the Drumheller detachment, whole property offenses such as break and enters and theft generally trended downwards, crimes against persons in the urban area took an upward swing. Charges of uttering threats rose by 16 occurrences compared to the same period in the previous years, and up 143 per cent compared to the same period from 2017-2021. Charges of criminal harassment assault and sexual offenses also rose. Offensive weapon charges also increased, as did disturbing the peace. Spousal abuse also saw an increase in reporting compared to the previous year.
These numbers did not appear to have changed in the rural areas the detachment serves.
Staff Sergeant Ed Bourque says there are different contributing factors to this ride, including more enforcement.
“We have definitely seen a spike in our persons crimes as of late. We are really not 100 per cent certain what it is in relation to,” he said. “We kind of expect that in the spring, into summer, it would potentially pick up, but we are seeing it a little earlier this year.”
He said, to some extent, Drumheller could be affected by conditions having to do with larger criminal occurrences.
“To a large part, the threat charges could be from some turf wars right now with some of the takedowns our Crime Reduction team has done. With some of the busts, it changes the dynamics a little bit. That may be the cause for a bit of a spike for on person crime,” he said.
While it doesn’t show up in the statistics, the detachment has been busy working with Alberta Health Services and Drumheller Bylaw Enforcement during the pandemic.
“It is definitely relevant right now,” said Bourque. “I know we have done a few assists with Public Health and Bylaw, attending to keep the peace. We also have quarantine checks that come from our agency…basically they send out tasks to our members to go and check-in and making sure people are quarantining the 14 days like they are supposed to.”