Local detachment commander gives report on crime

During a regular meeting of Town Council on Monday evening Sylvan Lake RCMP Staff Sergeant and Detachment Commander....

During a regular meeting of Town Council on Monday evening Sylvan Lake RCMP Staff Sergeant and Detachment Commander, Gary Rhodes gave a special report to Council on crime in the area throughout 2015.

A number of statistics were presented, detailing the many robberies the town faced, as well as the top ten generated files in Sylvan Lake which included theft of vehicles.108 files were generated for stolen vehicles in 2015 within the town.

“This type of crime has increased throughout Central Alberta and has been one of the crime types focused on by the Priority Crimes Task Force which Sylvan LakeDetachment supports and provides resources to,” said Rhodes.

He added one of the vehicles mostly commonly seen being stolen are certain years of Ford F-350’s.

“We had a bait vehicle here, rigged with GPS. A young woman stole that truck and from the time she walked up to it to the time she left took eight seconds,” said Rhodes.“So if you hear your truck running, it’s already leaving the yard.”

Rhodes stated the local RCMP’s priorities include increased policing on alcohol abuse, property crime, drug abuse and prevention, as well as cracking down on impaired driving and ensuring safe roads.

A considerable jump in statistics could be seen in the number of individuals charged with drug related offences such as possession and trafficking, with 58 charges in2015 and 82 in 2015.

“2015 was a busy year for the RCMP detachment,” stated Rhodes.

Total crime in Sylvan Lake has risen 15%, which Rhodes informed Council could mean the need for more staff. Currently the detachment has 16 municipal members and 6rural members.

“A 15% increase in Crime translates into a requirement for an increase of our municipal police members from 16 to 18.4 to maintain our present service level,” he explained. “We will monitor crime stats for 2016 to see if these higher crime levels continue.”

Other notable 2015 statistics presented included 270 assault charges, 75 break and enter charges, 290 mischief to property charges, 58 possession charges, 21trafficking charges.