Good and bad news in Camrose police report
The bad news from the Camrose Police Service's 2011 crime analysis released March 30 is that the number of reported criminal offences was seven per cent higher than it was in 2010.
The good news is that the number of reported criminal offences was 18 per cent lower than the 10-year average.
"A contributor of the 2011 increase was the our aggressive targeted enforcement of habitual criminals, which will continue," said Camrose Police Chief D.L. Kambeitz.
The total number of reported criminal offences in 2011 was 1,918, up from 1,793 in 2011.
Crimes against persons
The total number of crimes against persons increased by 34 per cent, from 298 to 398, with the majority of 2011 offences being Level 1 assault, at 173.
"Level one assaults usually include the victim and offender being known to each other and having a property or relationship dispute," states police commentary associated with the numbers. "Many of the incidents include alcohol or drug contributions and the majority of assaults are minor in nature, with many being resolved via mediation. Of the 173 incidents, only 58 resulted in charges being laid."
The reported number of assaults on police officers was ten.
"When assessing the assaults on police officers statistics show that one individual was responsible for four of the 10 reported incidents," said the commentary. This individual has been flagged as a risk, notifying police members to take precautions when dealing with the individual."
The number of domestic violence incidents dropped from 66 in 2011 to 62 in 2010, while the number of sexual assaults went from eight in 2010 to nine in 2011.
Criminal harassment crimes increased by 45 per cent, from 40 in 2010 to 58 in 2011, while the number of crimes involving the uttering of threats increased by 24 per cent, from 83 to 103.
"A contributing factor to the increased reported incidents can be linked to the use of electronic or computerized communication," states the commentary. "Many of the reported incidents involve victims being harassed or receiving threats via email, social media or text messages. As the electronic communication market expands, it will continue to provide a convenient tool for offenders to utilize, which may lead to future increases in reported incidents."
Police dealt with one reported occurrence of manslaughter in 2011.
Crimes against property
Break and enters increased 19 per cent, theft of motor vehicles increased 52 per cent, theft over $5,000 increased 100 per cent (from four to eight) and theft under $5,000 increased 12 per cent (369 to 413) Property damage offences decreased three per cent and possession of stolen property decreased by 36 per cent.
The number of arsons resulting in the damage of property totalled six, down from eight in 2010.
The total number of frauds in 2011 was 101, down from 105 in 2010.
"The majority of these reported incidents consisted of fraud attempts through the mail or the internet, where requests were made to forward money to foreign destinations in promise of greater rewards," said the commentary. "Many of these occurrences were deterred through crime prevention, education and enforcement initiatives."
The number of credit card frauds dropped from 12 in 2010 to three.
The number of other criminal code offences (breach of probation, bail violations, weapons, disturbing the peace, obstructing/resisting a police officer, indecent acts) decreased by 11 per cent, from 366 to 325.
Bail violations were down from 121 to 89, a decrease of 26 per cent.
The reported number of drug offences was 189, an increase of 13 per cent from 2010.
"Through targeted enforcement and education initiatives, the Camrose Police Service has maintained a consistent and proactive approach to addressing issues associated with illicit drug activities," said the commentary. In 2011, aggressive and coordinated enforcement initiatives, internal drug and intelligence gathering training and special projects were utilized by the Major Crimes Unit, Crime Reduction Team, Patrol Section, School Resource Officer and Crime Prevention Officer to combat drug related issues in our community. By continuing to utilize these same strategies and initiatives, subsequent increases may be noted in reported drug offences in future crime analysis reports."
Possession of marihuana (under 30 g) offences numbered 120, up from 92 in 2010, while the possession of cocaine offences numbered 13, up from 10 in 2010.
Cocaine trafficking offences rose from 14 in 2010 to 15 in 2011.
A total of 600 students (200 from Grade 3, 200 from Grade 6 and 200 from Grade 8) participated in the D.A.R.E. program in 2011. Grade 3 students received five classes of D.A.R.E. instruction on such topics as personal safety, bullying and drug awareness. Grade 6 and Grade 8 classes received ten classes of D.A.R.E. instruction. Students in the Grade 6 program were required to write an essay on making wise choices in relation to friendships, drugs, alcohol and tobacco. The Grade 8 students learned strategies through the Keeping It Real program for getting out of tough situations involving drugs, violence, and pressure.
The Camrose Police Service had an authorized 2011 complement of 31: the chief of police, inspector, staff sergeant, five sergeants and 23 constables. The police to population ratio is 1/594, or 168/100,000.
The Camrose Police Service received 7,351 E-911 calls, or approximately 20 calls per day.