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Property crime, stolen vehicles a concern in North Battleford

Sgt. Neil Tremblay presents to council with latest statistical report.
NB council RCMP Aug. 16
Sgt. Neil Tremblay presents the second quarter RCMP stats to council Monday at Don Ross Centre.

NORTH BATTLEFORD — The latest quarterly crime stats for North Battleford are out and there are a few notable trends.

According to the RCMP quarterly update presented to the North Batfleford council meeting Monday night, there were 8,431 calls for service for the year through June for North Battleford Municipal Detachment. 

For five-year trends, the biggest increase is being seen in property offences which are up 43 per cent, while other criminal code offences are up 21 per cent. Persons offences are up two per cent over the five years.

Sgt. Neil Tremblay presented the RCMP report to council at their meeting Monday night at Don Ross Centre, and he indicated there were a few items they were concerned about.

One area of concern remains vehicle thefts. Sgt. Tremblay said that “thankfully we are seeing a downward trend” during the summer, but he expressed concern it will return as an issue in the fall.

About half the vehicle thefts have a common denominator, he said, of keys left inside the vehicle, or the vehicle is running unattended. Tremblay said they are doing that education campaign to try and bring that number down.

Another issue has been break and enters, which are up 110 per cent over the five years.

Tremblay said there has been a particular rise in vacant homes being entered. A significant portion of break and enters are into vacant homes, whether awaiting sale or under renovations. Tremblay is getting the message out for people to take extra care in those situations.

While the five-year trend for persons offences has been up, the more recent trends have been downward. Tremblay said so far this year there has been a 50 per cent decrease from last year.

The property crime issue drew particular interest from council. Councillor Bill Ironstand raised the issue of people going around spray-painting bicycles and doing “car-shopping,” particularly late at night, and wanted to know what was happening to deal with that. 

Tremblay said that has been something they have been keeping an eye on. He said they have been increasing bike patrols in evening and late at night, which have resulted in some positive results. 

He said there were a lot of things that two or three members on bikes late at night could see that patrolling members don’t, so that is something being done to combat that. 

Tremblay also pointed to the importance of making sure to put bicycles away in locked garages or sheds.