RCMP provide Stony Plain crime update

Police say persons and property crimes down from last year.

Stony Plain council heard from local RCMP last night about the status of different crimes and initiatives in the community. 

Detachment Commander Mike Lokken detailed the increases and decreases in certain crimes, as well as general recommendations for the community moving-forward.

One suggestion was to reassess the important role that Lokken says school resource officers play. He said the removal of officers from some schools is not in the best interest of students.

He listed statistics for a variety of crimes, but says property and persons crimes were one of their bigger focuses in the past year.

He says while property crime was up 51 percent since 2014, it has dropped from last year. He credits local RCMP focusing on crime reduction and public education as playing a major part in this decrease. He says the Lock it or Lose it campaign is an example of this. 

Lokken says that a reason for the increase in these crimes could be the economy, saying local police see a correlation between property crime and drug use, and a lot of people have turned to theft, when they used to have higher-paying jobs to support their addictions. But he says that’s only speculation.

He says persons crimes like assault and sexual assault are down significantly from last year, partly due to local initiatives that have allowed people to feel more comfortable reporting these crimes. He says sexual assault went down 55 percent and assault dropped nine percent from 2018.

Lokken told council that Stony Plain currently has one officer for every 950 civilians, while the provincial average is one for every 700 people. 

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