Greater Trail crime stats up from 2015

Sgt. Darren Oelke from the Greater Trail RCMP brought first quarter crime stats to Trail council this week.

Local crime is up following a quiet year in 2015, says Sgt. Darren Oelke from the Greater Trail RCMP detachment.

Oelke presented first quarter crime statistics to Trail council Monday night, though timing was coincidental after a rather busy Silver City Days weekend for police.

Of the almost 2,000 files or service calls this year, 150 of those happened during the five-day Trail event.

By Sunday, 14 people remained in cells with four carried over to court Monday morning.

Of those cases, a few were alcohol-related though most were breaches of probation.

“Along with our prolific offender program, we are working hard to get our prolific and significant offenders on conditions,” Oelke said. “So we are constantly looking at breaches, and when we do breach them, we hold them in custody and take them to court we are trying to push the envelope and hold them accountable for their actions.”

Conditions often revolve around abstinence from drugs and alcohol as well as a curfew.

He said there was only one altercation on midway grounds which was quickly resolved, adding, “very few issues were associated with the Silver City Days event itself, it’s often the spin off that comes from that in bars and otherwise.”

From there, he presented 2016 Trail crime statistics and compared those to last year, noting an increase in two key areas.

Drug investigations doubled to 14 cases and motor vehicle thefts were up six from last year’s first quarter.

“We did a project with our General Investigation Section toward the end of February,” explained Oelke referring to drug cases. “There is spin off with that, still more to come, and enforcement to be taken. That’s ongoing and something our detachment is doing proactively.”

As for the vehicle thefts, Oelke says the incidents are related to one offender, who has been caught.

“The increase is related to one or two evenings with someone going through locked cars,” he clarified. “In this case the person was identified and apprehended with some stolen property, that were then able to trace back to some of those vehicles.”

Another area of service, calls related to mental health, were up 11 from last year, totaling 73 reports. (Notably, historical statistics on those types of calls only date back one year.)

Overall, police were called out 837 times in Trail during the first three months of 2016 compared to 716 times over the same months last year. Including calls to Fruitvale, Montrose, Warfield, Rossland and the regional district, Greater Trail RCMP responded to 1,298 calls compared to 1191 in 2015.

“I would say 2015 was a banner year where we had a 17 per cent reduction in crime,” Oelke concluded. “While we see some increases in specific types of crimes we are more on par with where we are normally at. I still think we are in a very safe community and that our crime rate here is much lower than much of the country.”