Clearwater RCMP saw a small reduction in calls for service last year when compared to 2017, and though the decrease was only a slight one, the change is uncommon compared to yearly trends, according to Sgt. G.D. Simpson.
The number of calls to the RCMP last year came in at 1,931 with 2017’s total calls for service coming in at 1,980, showing a reduction of 49 total files.
“Traffic is what we deal with the most,” said Simpson. “Complaints about speeding and erratic driving.”
Last year there were 755 calls to the police involving traffic complaints and in 2017 there were 772, showing a drop of almost 20 traffic complaints between years.
The cause for traffic calls taking up the bulk of local RCMP’s time is mostly due to Highway 5 running through town, according to Simpson.
He added one factor in the drop of complaints could be due to the fact the Clearwater detachment was short staffed by one member in 2017, and with the new police officer on board, RCMP is able to be significantly more visible on the roads.
“We’re out there quite a bit more often and having that one extra person on the road, and people seeing them, can help immensely,” he said.
The second most common type of offenses Clearwater RCMP deal with year over year tend be property crimes, like break and enters, thefts, thefts from cars and thefts of cars themselves.
In 2018 there were 176 calls regarding these types of crimes and in 2017 RCMP received 189 calls about property offenses, showing a drop of 13 calls.
What Simpson refers to as “person offenses” are the third most common form of offense taking place in the Clearwater area each year, which include assaults, domestic and sexual assaults, uttering threats and harassment.
Last year’s number of person offenses was 130, which is two less than the 132 that were called in for 2017.
The fourth most common types of calls local police receive fall under provincial statutes, which involve mostly liquor offenses, Simpson said, and this category actually saw an increase of two calls between 2017 and 2018.
Last year’s provincial statute complaints to the RCMP were 144 and 2017 had 142 people call in for complaints of this nature.
“Complaints of erratic driving is number one for traffic; for property offenses, there’s lots of mischief, which is any kind of vandalism, theft, or preventing people any kind of enjoyment of their property, theft is in there as well and fraud is a big one too,” Simpson said.
“The number of complaints about people uttering threats seems to be a fairly big one, but just because someone has us called on them for uttering threats, doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily get charged, but we’re certainly going to look into it and deal with it first hand—then domestics would be not far behind.”
When it comes to collecting statistics and data on crimes, Simpson added it’s an important tool for RCMP to keep its hand on the pulse of the community and to help police know what’s going on.
“It’s unfortunate, there are a lot of people think the police don’t have a clue what’s going on, but on the contrary, people do get in touch with us and contact us and with any call we’re getting, they’re all investigated,” he said.
“A file is created for everything and that’s where we capture our stats that helps us to deal with those concerns and the issues we have within the community.”
Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Clearwater RCMP at 250-674-2237 or to report anonymously, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.