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Crime down in Regina Police Service numbers through April

An 8.5 per cent drop in total crimes against person and property reported at latest Board of Police Commissioners meeting.
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Regina Chief of Police Farooq Sheikh speaks to reporters after the May 28 Board of Police Commissioners meeting.

REGINA - Crime numbers for Regina are in for April and they show a positive trend downward for the first third of the year.

According to the statistical report for Regina Police Service presented to the Board of Police Commissioners meeting Tuesday, total crimes against persons and property for the year through the month of April are down from 4620 last year to 4228 this year, down 8.5 per cent. For that particular month, person and property crime was up from 1222 to 1235.

For year to date figures, total crimes against the person did show an eight per cent increase from 1016 to 1097. Homicides were down for the year from two to zero through April, though a homicide did get reported in May.

Attempted murder was also down from 9 to 8 and robbery down from 79 to 72. But level 1 and level 2 assaults were both up 20.9 per cent and 13 per cent, respectively, and sexual assaults were up 15.6 per cent. Kidnapping was up from 4 to 7, a 75 percent increase, and the category of commodification of sexual activity was also up from 8 to 15 for an 87.5 per cent hike.

Total crimes against property were down from 3604 to 3131 for a 13.1 per cent drop. Among the drops were total break and enters (down 2.5 per cent), thefts of motor vehicles (down 27.6 per cent), total theft and attempted theft of motor vehicles (down 19.2 per cent), theft over $5000 (down 9.5 per cent), thefts under $5000 (down 17.6 per cent) and mischief (down 18.6 per cent.)

But a big concern was arson, up from 85 to 144 for a 69.4 per cent increase. Residential break and enters were also up 17.3 percent and there was an increase in attempted thefts of motor vehicles by 63.6 per cent, from 22 to 36.

For total calls for service, so far it is 24,985 through April for a decrease of 3.1 per cent.

In speaking to reporters, Regina Police Chief Farooq Sheikh said the reason for the encouraging crime stats numbers was because of proactive measures taken by the police department.

“We’ve taken a lot of drug dealers, drug traffickers off the street. Our investigations, especially with serious violent crimes is incredibly fantastic here," said Sheikh.

"I think it’s just the investigation team doing a really, really good job. Our call takers are taking all the detail they need to do, and our response has been really, really good, and also I think some of the benefits we’ve had over the last year is the use of different technology.”

One advancement Sheikh was able to point to was the use of air support, with the Regina Police aircraft involved in apprehensions and reporting a high apprehension rate.

However, recently the police plane has been out of commission. A maintenance accident involving one of the wings happened at the airport a couple of months ago, and so the plane will soon go to Calgary to be fixed. The plan is to have the plane repaired and it is expected to be back up and running before the end of the summer.

As for the increase in arsons, Sheikh pointed to the majority of those happening to garbage and trash bins.

“We need to work with the City, and with the Fire and with the public and look at ways to reduce the opportunities, because a lot of those to the garbage bins are crimes of opportunities. So we need to look at ways of doing that, and it means that those areas if we can identify road or locations that had more, then we have to look at installing some CCTV.”

Regarding the vehicle theft situation, Regina is seeing a decrease at a time when other parts of the country are seeing a massive spike in stolen vehicles. Police Chief Sheikh acknowledged the issue was a severe one in Ontario, where cars were being stolen and then sent overseas in shipping containers.

“We’re not having that here,” said Sheikh. “A lot of the crime we’re having here with vehicle-related is to do with stuff that they’re doing in and around the city. So we don’t have that problem that Ontario or other parts of the country have or other parts of the world have. I know that Ontario, they put a lot of money invested into looking at where to tackle it. There’s options out there, there’s technology out there with enhanced tracking devices that you have on vehicles. Again, we haven’t got that main problem here at the moment, where Ontario are looking at alternative ways to try and reduce crime and reduce vehicles being shipped abroad, because a lot of theirs are being shipped maybe from different provinces to abroad to different countries. Like I said, we don’t have that problem here because our crime, our vehicle crime as you see most months, we’ve seen a significant reduction.”