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EPS call volumes remain up in 2021

Estevan Police Board of Commissioners sees a larger number of calls in 2021 in comparison to the year before
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Estevan police continue to see an increase in call volumes

ESTEVAN - The Estevan Police Service (EPS) continues to see a moderate increase in call volumes for this year.  

According to data released at the Aug. 17 meeting of the Estevan board of police commissioners, the EPS had 5,408 calls for services and infractions through July 31, an increase of 4.2 per cent from the first seven months of 2020.  

The EPS had 685 calls for service in June, compared with 819 the previous year. And there were 830 calls in July, versus the 1,035 they had a year earlier.  

The EPS had 17 crimes against the person in July, up from 11 the previous year. Twelve of the crimes against the person were assaults and three were sexual crimes. One was a robbery and the other was an assault causing bodily harm. 

Forty crimes against property were reported in July, compared to 20 the previous year. There were 21 thefts under $5,000 and 12 mischief-wilful damage incidents. 

Two charges were laid for Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, with one for trafficking and another for possession. Four possession charges were laid in July 2020.

And there were 16 Criminal Code Traffic violations, with 14 for impaired/exceed related charges and two for impairment by drug. A dozen Criminal Code traffic violations occurred last year in July.  

As for the crime statistics for the first seven months of the year, the EPS has had 81 crimes against the person. The bulk of the crimes against the person this year were assaults (52), sexual crimes (21) and assaults causing bodily harm (six). One of the incidents was a murder.

The EPS has handled 156 crimes against property, with 68 thefts under $5,000, 67 mischief-willful damage complaints and 10 residential break and enters accounting for the bulk of the activity.  

There were 25 charges under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act in the first seven months of the year, with 18 for possession, six for trafficking and one for production.   

And there were 79 Criminal Code traffic violation charges, with 53 for impaired/exceeding charges, 17 for impairment by drugs, and nine for dangerous driving and others.   

The report for bylaw enforcement officers Monica Prentice and Josie Palmer showed that there were 178 monthly occurrences last month, bringing the total for the year to 1,032.   

The majority of July’s activities were unkempt properties at 137. There were also 17 animal calls and 10 parking violations.  

So far this year, unkempt properties (546) account for most of the activity. Other highlights include 115 animal calls and 172 parking violations.   

Morrical noted the unkempt properties have been a success story in the last couple of months, with the number that Palmer and Prentice have been able to tend to. The offers have had a 136 per cent increase in inspections.   

“Our two bylaw officers are working very well together right now,” said Morrical. “They’re doing a tonne of work on the streets, looking at unkempt properties.”  

Some of the properties have had multiple inspections.   

Morrical said the EPS has been operating with two bylaw enforcement officers since Palmer returned from maternity leave in mid-July. Prentice’s contract has been extended until the end of 2021 and a determination of whether to continue to operate with two employees in bylaw enforcement will be made later in the year. 

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