The above video shows the entire presentation taken from the Fort St. John Council Cast
Overall crime rates in Fort St. John appear to have decreased in the first six months of 2011.
RCMP Inspector Patrick Egan gave a presentation on crime rates and service calls for the first half of 2011 to Fort St. John City Council, Monday evening.
The 2011 rates and calls were compared to the same time period for 2010 and 2009.
According to the report, the number of calls for service has decreased over the three-year period from 6,993 in the first half of 2009 to 6,551 in 2010 to 6,511 in 2011.
Egan also says criminal code cases have decreased approximately six per cent and the number of people in custody is down by around 18 per cent from 2010.
Criminal Code offences have also reportedly decreased in the first half of 2011, with crimes against people down from 568 calls in 2010 to 512 calls in 2011 and property crimes dropped from 872 cases in 2010 to 796 in 2011.
Violent crimes had a slight increase from last year; with robberies remaining steady at five, police officer assaults went from four to five in 2011 and sex offences went from 23 to 24 in 2011.
A number of other types of crime saw a decrease. Common assaults dropped from 233 to 195 in the first half of 2011. Thefts from vehicles dropped from 138 in 2010 to 93 2011 and shoplifting had a dramatic drop from 99 to 29.
There were a handful of more serious crimes that saw an increase in the first six months of 2011. Residential break and enter’s increased from 51 to 63 and business break and enters increased from 22 to 24. Inspector Egan says the residential break and enter increase is a cyclical problem, as the RCMP arrest those responsible, they go to jail and are then released after a period of time and offend again. This year the RCMP have put more resources into solving residents and business break and enters.
When it comes to the drug trade in Fort St. John, a few area’s saw an increase. The number of people arrested for cannabis possession jumped from 33 to 50 in 2011 and the number of people arrested for cannabis trafficking went from four to seven. Cocaine possession dropped from 13 to 10 and cocaine trafficking dropped from 25 to 20 in 2011. Inspector Egan believes the drug trade is alive and well in Fort St. John on a regular basis and says any spike in arrests normally happen after investigations that can take up to 12 months to complete.
With impaired drivers, the stats are not complete because of the new laws that came into effect in September of 2010. For the first six months of 2011, the RCMP issued a 117 – 90 day immediate roadside prohibitions, 31 – 3 day suspensions and 2 – 7 day suspensions.
Councilor Bolin asked Inspector Egan about statistics released by Stats Canada last week that showed Fort St. John had an increase in serious crimes. Egan says those numbers focused on the severity of crime and not the overall crime rate.
For a complete look at all the statistics presented to Council, view the entire report at the bottom of this story, or the video from Fort St. John Council Cast.