Morinville sees drop in crime in 2010

By Staff

Morinville – Council received good news Tuesday night – crime in Morinville was less than it was in 2009, a year that saw significant increases in some types of crime over the previous year.

Morinville RCMP Staff Sergeant Mac Richards said total criminal code complaints were down significantly last year in keeping with what the detachment saw in their quarterly reports to council.

“This was a trend that was evident as we progressed through 2010,” Richards said, adding the detachment worked hard on addressing areas that increased in 2009.

Richards report, presented to Council, shows a total of 639 criminal code complaints being made in 2010, a number that is lower than it has been in the past three years.

But while total complaints were down last year, there was an increase in break and enters and drug complaints. Last year saw break and enter complaints rise from 22 to 36 and an increase in drug complaints from 28 to 54.

Some of Morinville’s drug crimes were part of the detachment’s involvement with Project Kompression, a multi-department initiative that targeted alleged trafficking operations surrounding Edmonton. Richards said 12 charges were laid in Morinville as part of the investigations, including charges for trafficking in a variety of illegal substances.

Other areas of the report show significant drops in criminal activities. Assault complaints fell from a four-year high of 87 in 2009 to 54 last year, and thefts under $5,000 dropped from 98 cases in 2009 to 66 in 2010.

Richards said thefts from vehicles continue to be a problem in Morinville and that as recently as last week a number of young people were charged with breaking into vehicles.

“Far too often the vehicles are left unlocked with valuables in plain sight,” Richards told council.

While the detachment has dealt with its fair share of crimes related to parked vehicles, they’ve also been busy with vehicles on the move. Last year saw an increase in total provincial traffic complaints over the previous year, rising from 874 in 2009 to 1,384 in 2010.

Collisions in Morinville dropped from 162 in 2009 to 151 in 2010. While there were no traffic fatalities in town for the fourth consecutive year, there were six collision-related injuries last year, which is six more than 2009.

Additionally, Richards said 45 impaired driving charges were laid in Morinville in 2010, something he would like to see reduced. “This is an entirely preventable crime,” he said. “We just require the public to plan when they are going out drinking.”

The RCMP Staff Sergeant told Morinville councillors he would have a better understanding of how projects and initiatives have paid off this spring when the detachment’s year is completed. Although the RCMP provides their reports to council on a quarterly basis throughout the calendar year, the detachment’s is just beginning their fourth quarter.

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