by Colin Smith
Crime was up in the April to June period this year, measured against the same three months in 2021.
Criminal code offences saw an increase of 27% according to the quarterly Morinville RCMP Detachment municipal policing report, presented to town council at its Tuesday, Sept. 27 regular meeting by Staff Sergeant Chris Palfy.
Palfy said, however, the numbers may be skewed upwards by a statistical error.
In this quarter of 2021, the RCMP recorded a total of 223 Criminal Code offences, up from 175 the year before, according to the report statistics.
Crimes against persons were up 30%, and other Criminal Code matters were up 162%, but property crimes were down about 10%
From April to June there were a total of 48 persons offences, including three robberies, eight sexual assaults, three other sexual offences, 16 assaults, seven criminal harassment and 11 uttering threats.
There were no death-related offences, as has been the case since at least 2018.
Property crimes totalled 99, with the largest number, 25, being theft under $5,000.
Palfy said the Data in Action program undertaken by the RCMP has been successful in reducing property crimes by pinpointing where they are taking place.
There were 22 mischief offences involving damage to property and 21 other mischief offences.
The RCMP handled five break-and-enters, three cases of possession of stolen goods and fifteen fraud incidents.
There were no arsons during the reporting period.
In response to a question from Councillor Stephen Dafoe, Palfy said the investigation into the St. Jean Baptiste Church fire remains open and active.
Other Criminal Code offences include disturbing the peace, offensive weapons, failing to comply and breaches.
The report shows 53 failing to comply and breaches, but Palfy said this is most likely a statistical error because fewer of those charges are being filed.
In the quarter, there were four federal drug enforcement files and one cannabis file, plus 70 related to the provincial Liquor Act, Cannabis Act, Mental Health Act and other provincial legislation.
Total motor vehicle collisions have increased from 16 to 33, with no fatalities and two involving injuries.
“We have had a lot of traffic accidents in Morinville and surrounding area,” said Palfy. “I don’t know why. Maybe people have forgotten how to drive during covid.”
There have been a total of 131 provincial traffic offences, up 28% over the same period last year but down 22% from 2018.
Fire false alarms have gone up 267%, from six to 22, but that is still down 49% from 2018.
There were 30 reports of suspicious persons, vehicles or property. No persons were reported missing.