In the latest Statistics Canada crime severity index Williams Lake ranked seventh for communities with a population of 10,000 or more. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Crime severity index sees Williams Lake seventh place

In the past Williams Lake was top for severity, but that has been trending down since 2016

For the second year in a row Williams Lake has been ranked seventh place on the overall crime severity index in 2018 for service areas with a population of 10,000 or more.

Ahead of the lakecity are North Battleford, Sask. ranked first, Thompson, Man. ranked second, Quesnel is ranked third, Wetaskiwin, Alta. is fourth, Portage La Prairie, Man. is fifth, Non-RCMP Police Service is sixth in the Statistics Canada index released this week.

In the past, Williams Lake was number one in crime severity, but that has been trending down since 2016.

Williams Lake RCMP Insp. Officer in Charge Jeff Pelley said the top five violations contributing to the decrease in Williams Lake’s crime severity index over 2018 were break and enters, motor vehicle thefts, mischief, disturb the peace and possession of weapons.

“Our top five violations contributing to the decrease in violent crime in Williams Lake are uttering of threats, assault with a weapon causing bodily harm, assault level one — meaning common assault, pointing a firearm and assault of a police officer. All of those areas are trending down.”

Five areas that have caused an increase in non-violent crime are fraud, theft of $5,000 or under, theft from motor vehicle, shoplifting and fail to appears, he added.

Spike in thefts recently

Pelley confirmed there has been an increase in break and enters to residences and businesses, as well an increase in theft of a few additional vehicles in the last few months.

“We have plotted areas with respect to residences and businesses and we are focusing on offenders that may be suspects a well as preventative measures with appropriate businesses or homeowners.”

There are a number of offenders in the community under curfew conditions that remain a priority for officers to check in with to ensure they are being compliant, he added.

Pelley said the RCMP will continue to reduce crime through an “effective and strategic” approach through enforcement, intervention and prevention approach.

“Williams Lake is not a dangerous city to live in, is it a great community and we have a lot of cooperation from the community on active investigations and collaboration with agencies to spearhead and work through crime reduction initiatives.”

Read more: Williams Lake RCMP apprehend suspects after foot chase in Smedley area Friday

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