Year-to-year drop in city not seen in surrounding areas
Some of the crime trends in Spruce Grove differ from the rest of the area.
That was part of the discussion at Tuesday's council meeting, led by Detachment Commander Mike Lokken, who had crime statistics from the first three months of the year, and were compared to the first quarter of 2018.
He says Spruce Grove's year-to-year reduction in property crime of 42% isn't following suit in other areas of the Tri Region.
"I can tell you that crime is down in the City of Spruce Grove, particularly in property crime," he said.
"But in our other areas - the Town of Stony Plain and Parkland County - we haven't seen this reduction. In fact, we've seen a bit of a rise in some areas. So it's only speculation, but I think enhanced funding certainly did help."
Spruce Grove has committed to adding two full-time officers this year, next year, and in 2021.
Lokken says that while local police have done great work, he doesn't believe those kinds of numbers will stick.
"I'm not going to get on my soapbox and pat myself on the back too much, because I know that eventually these stats will probably change," he said.
"I'd like to say that they're going to remain like this, and I'd like to say that the fine men and women of the detachment are doing phenomenal work - which they are - but I don't think that we can take all the credit for this," he said.
All nine types of persons crimes saw decreases from 2018, with a 14% drop recorded across the category.
Other Criminal Code violations - like Offensive Weapons and Disturbing the peace - dropped 34% since the first quarter of 2018.
The only type of crime to see an increase in Spruce Grove from last year to this year was sexual offences, as assaults increased from seven to nine.
Crime under the "Other Sexual Offences" category bumped up from two to three.