Legal crime stats stable

By staff

Legal – Morinville RCMP Staff Sergeant Mac Richards paid a visit to Legal Town Council Tuesday night, bringing the mayor and council up to speed on policing in the community in the first five months of 2011 as well as presenting a comparison to previous years. That comparison shows crime is no worse than it has been in the past few years.

“The early trend is showing complaints are almost exactly on par,” Richards told council Tuesday night. “This is across the board in the 12 major crime types I look at.”

Richard’s policing statistics reveal May as the busiest month thus far in terms of calls for service. RCMP answered 46 calls for service in Legal in May, compared to 22 in April, 20 in May and 47 in the first three months combined.

Although some criminal calls were up in May over previous months, others were down. Overall, crime remains low in Legal.
There were three assaults in May, compared with none in January, March and April. Two assaults were reported in February, giving Legal a total of five thus far in 2011. Last year saw a total of 10 assaults throughout the entire year.
Break and enters continue to trend low in Legal. Thus far in 2011, the community has had one in February. Over the past four years, the community has averaged eight per year with 2008 seeing a highpoint of 11 and 2010 a low point of six.
Thefts in 2011 largely occurred in May. RCMP report three thefts greater than $5,000 in May, compared to none in the preceding months, and two thefts under $5,000, compared to one in April and one in March.

In terms of traffic related calls, Legal has had no fatalities or injuries, and only one collision. Traffic fatalities and injuries are consistent with a five-year trend in the community, although total collisions are well below the four-year average of eight per year.

Richards told council his detachment will be focusing on several key areas during this policing year: traffic, property crimes and drugs.

The Staff Sergeant is looking to increase impaired driving charges and reduce motor vehicle collisions. Part of the plan will be to sporadically assign a member to Legal to do strictly traffic enforcement. Richards believes this will increase the detachment’s visibility in the town and offer an opportunity for education and enforcement of traffic issues.

Education will also play a major role in the detachment’s plan to reduce property crimes, particularly thefts from motor vehicles which are often left unlocked.

Richards is planning on ramping up drug matters by increasing drug charges and educating youth through a variety of school programs.

The summer months tend to see a rise in criminal activity due to warmer weather. Those figures will be presented to the community by RCMP some time this fall.

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