Polic­ing re­port shows more re­ported of­fences in Swift Cur­rent for Fe­bru­ary

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - NEWS - By Matthew Lieben­berg mlieben­[email protected]­t.com

There was an in­crease in the num­ber of re­ported of­fences in Swift Cur­rent for Fe­bru­ary com­pared to the same month a year ago.

Staff Sgt. Gary Hodges spoke about the rea­sons for an in­crease in of­fences in cer­tain cat­e­gories dur­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion of the com­mu­nity polic­ing re­port at a reg­u­lar City of Swift Cur­rent coun­cil meet­ing, March 9. He pro­vided in­for­ma­tion about of­fences re­ported and/or com­mit­ted in the com­mu­nity dur­ing the month of Fe­bru­ary.

There was a to­tal of 394 oc­cur­rences in Fe­bru­ary 2020 com­pared to 310 for the same month in 2019 and 289 in Fe­bru­ary 2018.

There was in in­crease in the num­ber of as­saults (ex­clud­ing sex­ual as­saults) from five oc­cur­rences a year ago to 29 in Fe­bru­ary 2020, but he em­pha­sized that Swift Cur­rent is still a safe com­mu­nity. He took a care­ful look at the data and these as­saults were mostly re­lated to do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.

“So I can say that it’s not like the streets of Swift Cur­rent aren’t safe, that you’re go­ing to get beat up if you walk down the road,” he said.

“That’s not the case. These aren’t in­stances where peo­ple are hav­ing fights out on the street. They’re a re­sult of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, which as we all know, can come from any num­ber of dif­fer­ent fac­tors – so­cial con­di­tions, eco­nomics, the home en­vi­ron­ment.”

He added that the RCMP is work­ing closely with staff from other or­ga­ni­za­tions such as So­cial Ser­vices to ad­dress is­sues re­lated to do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and to re­duce the num­ber of such calls re­ceived by the po­lice, but it still hap­pens.

There was a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in the to­tal num­ber of break and en­ter in­ci­dents in the com­mu­nity from only one at a res­i­dence in Fe­bru­ary 2019 to 17 oc­cur­rences in Fe­bru­ary 2020. There was one break and en­ter at a res­i­dence, four at busi­nesses, and

12 at other lo­ca­tions. The ma­jor­ity of these in­ci­dents were break and en­ters into garages or sheds, and the Swift Cur­rent RCMP has ar­rested and charged six in­di­vid­u­als.

“These six in­di­vid­u­als were ac­tu­ally work­ing in three dif­fer­ent groups, all sep­a­rate from each other,” he said. “One of the in­di­vid­u­als was very co­op­er­a­tive once he was caught, but by his own ad­mis­sion he was un­der the in­flu­ence of drugs at the time. So he wasn’t able to re­call ex­actly where he was com­mit­ting these crimes, only that he’d been com­mit­ting them.”

The RCMP re­cov­ered a sig­nif­i­cant amount of stolen prop­erty as a re­sult of these ar­rests, but their chal­lenge now is to find the own­ers. Hodges noted that vic­tims of a break and en­ter will of­ten not make a re­port to the po­lice and it is there­fore more dif­fi­cult for them to find the own­ers of stolen prop­erty. He there­fore re­quested any­one who was a vic­tim of a break and en­ter in Fe­bru­ary to con­tact the de­tach­ment.

“Give us a call and come on down to the de­tach­ment, and have a look at what we’ve got in our se­cu­rity there and see if they can iden­tify any of that prop­erty that was seized from these in­di­vid­u­als,” he said.

He felt con­fi­dent that the arrest of these in­di­vid­u­als will have a pos­i­tive im­pact on the num­ber of break and en­ter in­ci­dents in the city.

“Since these six in­di­vid­u­als have been charged and brought be­fore the court sys­tem, we’ve seen a com­plete de­cline in the re­ports of these break and en­ters,” he said. “So I would say the mass ma­jor­ity with fair con­fi­dence were the ac­tions of those six in­di­vid­u­als that were re­spon­si­ble for it.”

Swift Cur­rent RCMP of­fi­cers have con­tin­ued to fo­cus on drug en­force­ment in the com­mu­nity. The drug en­force­ment of­fences in­creased from six in Fe­bru­ary 2019 to 10 in Fe­bru­ary 2020. Of­fi­cers ex­e­cuted eight search war­rants in the past three months, which re­sulted in the seizure of a va­ri­ety of drugs, cash, drug para­pher­na­lia and firearms.

The sta­tis­tics for im­paired driv­ing of­fences dou­bled from seven a year ago to 14 in Fe­bru­ary 2020, which Hodges felt was an un­for­tu­nate sit­u­a­tion.

“It’s ob­vi­ously a dis­cour­ag­ing com­ment to have to make, but it’s the re­al­ity of it,” he said.

“So we’ll con­tinue to fo­cus on that area as the mem­bers are out and about on their pa­trols, as well as en­cour­ag­ing cit­i­zens to call if they see any­thing.”

There was a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in the num­ber of pro­vin­cial traf­fic of­fences from 26 in Fe­bru­ary 2019 to 181 in Fe­bru­ary 2020. Sev­eral fac­tors played a role in the in­creased en­force­ment that re­sulted in the higher num­ber of recorded of­fences.

Pro­vin­cial Traf­fic Ser­vices car­ried out sev­eral op­er­a­tions in the com­mu­nity and warmer weather dur­ing this past Fe­bru­ary was more con­ducive to en­force­ment ac­tiv­i­ties. The staff com­po­nent at the Swift Cur­rent RCMP de­tach­ment is now also up to full strength and more po­lice ve­hi­cles were out on the streets.

“We were run­ning with two mem­bers on the street last year,” he said. “This year we’re run­ning with at least three on a shift. So that’s one more mem­ber out there shar­ing calls for ser­vice load on a ro­ta­tional ba­sis, and just out there with another set of eyes.”

Hodges men­tioned that many of the of­fi­cers who joined the de­tach­ment re­cently have come from RCMP De­pot Di­vi­sion af­ter the com­ple­tion of their train­ing.

“Some of those mem­bers are new mem­bers from de­pot who are very keen to get out,” he said. “Not that the rest of the mem­bers aren’t, but some of them have more in-depth in­ves­ti­ga­tions. So they’re out there look­ing for those things and will have a bit more time to do some proac­tive work.”

Staff Sgt. Gary Hodges presents the com­mu­nity polic­ing re­port dur­ing of Swift Cur­rent coun­cil meet­ing, March 9. a reg­u­lar City

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