Skip to content

Crime not up or down in city of Yorkton

Detachment received over 10,000 calls during their 2024 fiscal year which ended March 31.

YORKTON – The Yorkton RCMP held a Community Town Hall at St. Mary's Cultural Centre March 28.

The RCMP, General Investigation Section, Traffic Unit, Forensic Identification Unit, CN Police and RCMP recruiters were in attendance for the town hall to answer questions and address concerns from the general public.

"We kind of wanted to showcase the RCMP in Yorkton to show all the services that we do provide here," told Staff Sergeant Burton Jones and Detachment Commander of the Yorkton RCMP to reporters in attendance at the event.

"The second part of it was kind of to engage the public to say, 'listen, what do you think we need the police to concentrate on this year. What's important to you in your community?'," said Burton, adding, "that's very important for us to know because we're part of this community as well."

Burton said the public was interested in knowing if crime rates were up or down.

"In Yorkton in the last two years it's stayed very very constant," said Burton.

According to Burton, the fiscal year began in April of 2023 and ended on March 31, 2024.

At the end of 2023's fiscal year, Burton said the Yorkton RCMP had just under 10,000 calls for service and had 10,205 calls in 2024.

It should be noted that the Yorkton RCMP police the city as well as the general area, including the town of Saltcoats, Springside, Willowbrook, village of Ebenezer, Theodore and the RM's of Orkney, Wallace, Saltcoats and the Little Bone First Nation.

According to data provided by Burton, there were:

  • 31 calls for weapons in 2023 compared to 60 in 2024
  • 97 calls for assault with a weapon 2023 and only 88 in 2024
  • RCMP responded to 336 assaults in 2023 and in 2024 they responded to 275
  • 411 calls for theft in 2023 and 424 calls in 2024
  • 173 calls for fraud in 2023 and 161 in 2024
  • the number of calls for sexual assault remained unchanged at 43

Burton said that violent crime has not gone up and if anything has gone down, though not significantly.

"When we can look at our numbers and say 'our violent crime is lower than it was a year before' — excellent for us," said Burton.

"In Yorkton in the last two years it's stayed very very constant," said Burton, "nothing has went and skyrocketed by any means."

In fact, Burton said the most pressing issue for the city right now is drug use.

"There's a significant issue here with drugs — I'm talking your Fentanyl, your methamphetamine, — things like that," said Burton, adding, "we've had a number of overdoses here in Yorkton because of that. As recently as this weekend we've had an overdose in regard to Fentanyl."

"We've had many of those so — to me — that's a huge issue that we're concentrating on," said Burton, noting the Yorkton RCMP are currently equipped with Narcan — a drug used to treat possible opioid overdose.

"If they're first on scene and someone is in an overdose situation they can use Narcan and we've used it several times to bring back people or revive people so when the ambulance comes in they can give them proper care," said Burton, "I think right now drugs are a huge issue that we're going to continue to concentrate on in Yorkton."

For average people who want to contribute to the RCMP's efforts, Burton said it's as simple as picking up the phone.

"Say there's a house in the neighbourhood and there's people coming and going ... all the time — call the police," said Burton, adding, "it could be a drug thing. It could be something completely different but the fact of the matter is if it's something out of the ordinary ... we would need to know about that ... any time the public feels that they need to call the police I would encourage them to do that."

And picking up the phone doesn't stop at suspicious activity. Burton said he wanted to dispel a myth when it came to reporting missing persons.

"Don't wait 24 hours to report," said Burton, "if the person is your loved one and they're missing to you then they're missing to the RCMP as well."

"Missing persons is one of our number one priorities. When it comes in it's very heavy, front loaded and everyone is on board to try and find that person as quickly as we can."

As for the town hall meeting, Burton said the point was to get ideas from the public about what the RCMP should be focusing on.

"I'm going to bring that information back and then I have to build a performance plan for my detachment," said Burton adding, "this is what the people have brought forward. This is what they want the RCMP to concentrate on. In a year's time I have to come back and tell everybody 'this is what you asked us to concentrate on — here's what we did.'"