In spite of the seemingly ever-present construction sounds coming from the downtown core lately, Greater Trail is actually proving to be a quieter place this year than it was in 2012, at least in terms of crime.
Sgt. Rob Hawton, of the Trail and Greater District Detachment of the RCMP made his semi-annual report on crime statistics for the area to Trail City Council Tuesday night and, in most measures, the numbers looked positive.
Hawton stated that, although there had not been a direct comparison made with other cities in the province, statistically, Trail isn’t showing some of the same criminal activity that many of the larger centres in B.C. are dealing with.
“Anecdotally, by and large, the crime rate in Trail is fairly low compared to other places,” he told council. “Certainly when you look at places like the Okanagan and the Lower Mainland we’re not seeing anything like the violent crime and gang activity that they deal with.”
The report dealt with statistics in 13 different categories covering everything from murder to accidents causing property damage with the only areas showing an increase being crimes involving break and enter, theft of motor vehicles, and sexual assault.
“The sex assaults, those are something that are really hard to be able to be proactive about, it’s different people, different times, for different reasons,” Hawton said. “What we’re doing is we’re very diligent at following up any complaint of sexual assault. We investigate it and we certainly pursue those when they occur.”
The category of “theft of motor vehicles” showed a jump in numbers in between first half of 2012 and 2013.
One was considered a straight vehicle theft and the car was recovered in Calgary, one was classified as “taking a vehicle without consent” where a family member left with a family vehicle, two dirt bikes were stolen from carports and one involved a car left in downtown Trail with the car keys under the floor mat of the unlocked vehicle.
One area of crime that showed a significant increase was the “break and enter” category which saw an increase from 12 in 2012 to 28 for the same period this year..
“The bottom line is between 50 and 75 per cent of these break and enters we feel are committed by two people, a male and a female. As I’ve said at a previous council meeting, sometimes our numbers are driven by who is in jail at any given time. These two were out,” Hawton said.
“He was arrested in April and is still in custody facing charges, she was finally arrested for other charges in August and she’s now in custody and was sentenced to six months in jail. We got a little respite from those two.”
Hawton reported that the majority of crimes that are committed in the area are perpetuated by local people and most involve young adults.
“Many of these are not solved although we suspect we know who’s involved,” he said. “In a lot of cases we find that they are illicit drug driven, in most cases we find that’s behind it one way or another.”