S/Sgt for the Bonnyville RCMP Detachment, Louis Gandolfi, presented crime stats to the Town of Bonnyville mayor and council last week for the years 2012-2016. From the stats presented it displays that crime spiked in 2015 and is on a downtrend, which started in 2016.
An area of concern for the community, as of late, is property crime, which includes break & enters, theft of motor vehicle, theft (over and under $5,000), possession of stolen goods, fraud, arson and mischief. All of these categories, excluding fraud (up 6 cases), saw a decrease from 2015 to 2016. Notably theft of motor vehicles was down from 89 cases in 2015 to 49 cases in 2016. Also notable, break & enter was down from 70 cases in 2015 to 39 cases in 2016. Possession of stolen goods down from 55 in 2015 to 18 in 2016 and theft under $5,000 down 258 in 2015 to 171 in 2016. Total property crime saw an overall decrease of nearly 200 cases, down from 933 in 2015 to 713 in 2016.
“Realistically, 2015 looks like more of the anomaly; because, if you look at 2013, 2014 you can see a (spike in 2015),” S/Sgt Gandolfi points out the evidence in the stats that the community may be over the spike in property crime. Fraud is an area which S/Sgt Gandolfi believes education is assisting in eliminating the case files. “We’ve done a lot of press on fraud, and we still field calls, though not as many. We’re still getting a lot of CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) stuff, and I’m sure it’s going to pick up again, now that tax season is almost underway.” If you would like more information about preventing fraud, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online.
Persons crime, which includes offenses related to death, robbery, sexual assault, other sexual offenses, assault, kidnapping/hostage/abduction, extortion, criminal harassment, uttering threats and other person crimes, was generally the same as previous years, with a slight 17 case decrease. Notably, assault cases were down from 149 in 2015 to 121 in 2016.
Drugs are another area of concern for the community, overall the trend is downwards. A spike of 113 cases in 2013, steadily lowered in 2014 to 72, then lowered again in 2015 to 50, with a slight increase in 2016 of 3 cases for 53 total cases. There were zero cases of drug production in 2016. Possession cases increased from 31 in 2015 to 34 in 2016. Trafficking had a one file increase from 2015 to 2016, with 18 cases. The new GIS unit will assist the RCMP detachment further with drug and serious crime files.
From the statistic presented, overall, crime files have lowered and it appears as though there was a spike in 2015; which is now on the down trend.