Trail and Greater District RCMP Sergeant Mike Wicentowich released the fourth quarter crime stats from last year, recently presenting them to City Council.  He says compared with 2017, there were some significant changes including theft from motor vehicles.

“We had 20 reports of that in 2017 and then it was up to 62 reports in 2018. Part of that is our camping for increased awareness. We believe people are reporting more and we are catching more people as a result.”

54 of those happened in Trail but the stats include thefts from vehicles in Warfield, Fruitvale, Rossland, Montrose and the Regional District. There were quite a few more impaired driving investigations as well in last quarter compared to the year before. It went from six in 2017 to 22 in 2018. Sergeant Wicentowich explains his take on the numbers.

“The members here are proactively getting out there and looking for impaired drivers to which they’ve been very successful. And this is a significant number and it takes a number of these dangerous drivers off the road.”

He also feels the increased impaired driving campaign has paid off, as motor vehicle collisions decreased year over year in the fourth quarter from 78 to 54.

Another challenge for the department is mental health calls, which increased from 50 in 2017 to 70 last quarter. Property crimes have also increased quite significantly, however, break and enters went down from 38 to 20. Taking a look at some of the concerning numbers, Sergeant Wicentowich says it doesn’t mean crime is skyrocketing.

“We’ll monitor the long term trends and make sure that even if we have a peak, which I believe is due to increased awareness and reporting, I’ll monitor that, and if crime keeps going up, it’s something that the police always have to constantly reexamine and then maybe readjust our strategies and look at additional resources in helping combat this problem.”

Sergeant Wicentowich adds they also received over 200 more calls for service in the fourth quarter year over year, but members continue to work hard and provide the best service possible.