There were congratulations passed around the council chambers Tuesday evening as Staff Sgt. Warren Brown spread the message that crime in the third quarter across the majority of categories was down.
According to the numbers, reported crime has declined in all areas except break and enter of residence which has increased from 60 in 2010 to 72 in 2011.
Theft of auto over $5,000 was down from 10 in 2010 to five in 2011; theft of auto under $5,000 was down from 18 to two; theft of truck over was down from 11 to three; theft of truck under was down 19 to four; break and enter of business was down 39 to 16; spousal assault was down from 57 to 50; mischief under $5,000 was down from 331 to 328; robbery down from 17 to 16 and false alarms down from 642 to 493.
Calls for service were down from 6,924 to 6,411. All categories other than break and enter of residence were down in 2011 compared to 2009.
In its success, Brown recognized the efforts of city council in terms of the partnerships it helped to create, the setting of goals and the increased administrative support to the detachment.
“I wanted to acknowledge council tonight in working in partnership with me to give direction,” he said.
He also gave credit to the detachment members and to community policing volunteers.
Brown outlined the detachment’s 2011-12 performance plan aimed at contributing to safer youth; building relationships with aboriginal communities; enhancing crime reduction; and road safety.
“I think it’s great news,” Cook said after the council meeting. “The number one priority three years ago was crime reduction and here we have seen auto theft over with a 90 per cent reduction. That speaks volumes to the dedication of the RCMP and community policing.”
Coun. Sue Zacharias said she hoped the community would take notice of the decline in the number false alarms given there has been public complaints of late about the City’s new false alarm bylaw.
Zacharias said what bothered her about the number of false alarms in the community — at its peak in 2009 at 659 — was the cost and the time it took police officers and firefighters to attend the calls.
“Everybody wants us to save money,” she said. “People have to take responsibility to ensure they have their alarms in good order.”
Brown estimated responding to false alarms takes a couple officers up to an hour.
“That takes up our time and that’s time when police can’t do other things,” he said.
Zacharias added the goal with the false alarm bylaw is to get police officers back on the street.
Walters and Barr thanked the RCMP for its work and Cook added that Williams Lake had the attention of the province’s solicitor and attorney generals.