ANNUAL CRIME STATS – RCMP target injury accidents

Trail RCMP have set goals for fighting crime this year and next, after digesting last season’s statistics.

For the 2011/2012 season, the Kootenay Boundary regional detachment is aiming to reduce the number of injury accidents caused by impaired drivers by 10 per cent, according to Trail Sgt. Rob Hawton, who presented a snapshot of last year’s statistics to Trail council Monday night.

Hawton suggests that impaired driving charges have reduced since the introduction of last year’s stricter laws in B.C., noting that two injury accidents in Trail last year were a result of drivers being impaired.

Since the 0.05 blood-alcohol limits, the province has seen a 40 per cent drop in alcohol-related deaths and RCMP say over the course of a year, 45 people will still be alive due to the tougher rules.

Local figures were made available last week after they were compiled in Vancouver.

Last year’s crime statistics were in line with 2009’s besides a jump in injury accidents to 18 from eight; a drop in auto theft to eight from 17; a reduction in impaired driving charges to 33 from 49; and a surge in theft, mischief and possession of stolen property to 402 from 389.

The jump in mischief charges last year were attributed to 84 of the 102 recorded offences done by the same person.

After corrosive material began being sprayed on vehicles in Glenmerry, and East and West Trail in April – 84 incidents – an RCMP officer off duty caught the suspect red-handed in August.

Christopher Shane York pleaded guilty to mischief over $5,000 and disguising his face while committing an offence. He received a conditional sentence of six months during which he had to abide to a curfew, pay restitution of about $14,900, abstain from alcohol, and is on probation for 18 months at the end of the conditional sentence.

“That was a tough case,” said Hawton, adding there were no indicators of how members could have picked him up earlier.

There is no clear reason why fewer vehicles were stolen in 2010, according to Hawton.

“It simply reflects who’s in jail at any given time because one person can often be responsible,” he said.