Local crime offences up 12 per cent | DrumhellerMail
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Last updateThu, 21 Sep 2023 8am

Local crime offences up 12 per cent

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Drumheller RCMP Detachment Commander Staff Sergeant Rob Harms presented councils in both the Town of Drumheller and Wheatland County with the quarterly policing report during the respective regular council meetings for each municipality on Tuesday, February 21.
Within the municipal detachment area, which encompasses the Town of Drumheller, there was an overall 12 per cent increase in criminal code offenses, while the rural detachment area-which encompasses parts of Kneehill County, Starland County, and Wheatland County-saw an overall seven per cent increase in criminal code offenses between 2021 and 2022.
The third quarterly report showed a reduction of 47 per cent in person crimes within the municipal detachment area, such as criminal harassment and assault, compared to the third quarter in 2021, with a year-over-year reduction of 18 per cent; in the rural detachment area there was an overall decrease in person crimes of 59 per cent compared to 2021, and a year-over-year reduction of 10 per cent.
Drumheller RCMP are currently in the process of developing its community priorities for the 2023-2024 fiscal year beginning in April. The detachment held three town hall meetings in Drumheller, and the villages of Carbon and Delia, and held a public engagement survey to determine the priorities of the communities within the detachment area for the coming year.
S/Sgt Harms noted, based on preliminary data from the survey, it appears similar priorities-accountability to stakeholders, community engagement, and reducing substance abuse-are still top priorities for the area. He noted each priority is also given its own set of goals or targets, and S/Sgt Harms explained the department has currently met or exceeded these targets and goals.
The top priority indicated by the survey was drug enforcement and education.
S/Sgt Harms expressed, in his experience, drug and substance abuse often has a “close correlation” with property crimes, and shared education and enforcement plays a very key role in harm reduction.
He also noted Strathmore RCMP detachment has also seen similar offences occurring in its rural detachment area as Drumheller. S/Sgt Harms indicated he had met with Strathmore RCMP Detachment Commander S/Sgt Mark Wielgosz to discuss these common issues, and have formed an informal alliance between the two detachments to help better serve their respective jurisdictions.
During his presentation to Wheatland County, S/Sgt Harms indicated the most significant increase in calls was for Motor Vehicle Collisions (MVCs), with a year over year increase of 63 per cent. This sentiment was also echoed later in the meeting by Strathmore RCMP S/Sgt Wielgosz.
Both noted inclement weather was a likely key factor in this increase, though some of these were also due to distracted driving and other factors. Within the Drumheller municipal detachment area, MVCs had actually declined by about six per cent year over year, from a total of 48 reported incidents in 2021 compared to 45 in 2022; statistics for the Strathmore RCMP third quarterly report were not available.
S/Sgt Harms also explained the detachment had held a checkstop campaign in December, with some great success.
A total of 336 vehicles were checked during this campaign, which resulted in a total of six impaired drivers being removed from the road. While the results were overall positive, with less than two per cent of drivers being under the influence, S/Sgt Harms stated, “I am somewhat disappointed that in 2022, going into 2023, we’re still dealing with impaired drivers on the roads. It’s something I think we need to keep focusing on.”


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