ESTEVAN - The Estevan Police Service continues to see a moderate decrease in call volumes for this year.
According to data released at the June 22 meeting of the Estevan board of police commissioners, the EPS had 2,584 calls for service and infractions through May 31, a decrease of 32.6 per cent from the first five months of 2021.
The EPS had 576 calls for service in May, compared with 1,026 the previous year.
The EPS had 16 crimes against the person in May, up from 10 the previous year. Nine of the crimes against the person were assaults and five were sexual crimes. One was a robbery and the other was an assault causing bodily harm.
Twenty-four crimes against property were reported in May, compared to 27 the previous year. There were 12 mischief/willful damage cases, 11 thefts under $5,000 and one residential break and enter.
One charge was laid for the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act for trafficking. Two possession and one trafficking charges were laid in May 2021.
And there were 12 Criminal Code traffic violations, with nine for impaired/exceed-related charges, two dangerous driving and other cases, and one for impairment by drug. Fourteen Criminal Code traffic violations occurred last year in May.
As for the crime statistics for the first five months of the year, the EPS has had 62 crimes against the person. The bulk of the crimes against the person this year were assaults (46), sexual crimes (11) and assaults causing bodily harm (four). One of the incidents was a robbery.
The EPS has handled 95 crimes against property, with 37 thefts under $5,000, 43 mischief-willful damage complaints and 10 residential break and enters accounting for the bulk of the activity. Others were four thefts of motor vehicles and one theft over $5,000.
There were 21 charges under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act in the first five months of the year, with 15 for trafficking and six for possession.
And there were 38 Criminal Code traffic violation charges, with 28 for impaired/exceeding charges, five for impairment by drugs, and five for dangerous driving and others.
While the numbers in May were down on a year-to-date (YTD) basis, when compared to the five-year average they are remaining higher. Five-year YTD average shows 17 crimes against person versus 62 in 2022; 38 crimes against property versus 95 this year; 16.8 crimes Criminal Code Traffic violations versus 38 in the first five months of 2022; and 7.8 Controlled Drugs and Substances Act charges versus 21 in 2022. The calls for service sit at 1,197 on a five-year average YTD versus 2,584 in 2022.
Estevan Police Chief Rich Lowen said that nothing specific contributed to those numbers, and they will keep monitoring the situation as the year evolves.
The report for bylaw enforcement officer Monica Prentice showed that there were 297 monthly occurrences last month, bringing the total for the year to 522.
The majority of May's activities were unkempt properties at 217. There were also 24 parking violations, 20 animal calls and 12 parking complaints.
So far this year, unkempt properties (228) account for most of the activity. Other highlights included 101 parking violations and 54 animal calls.
Lowen praised Prentice for her efforts.
"What I just want to bring to your attention is the number of unkempt property inspections that were done for the month, 217 inspections last month, which I thought was a tremendous amount of work for one person," Lowen said. "I'm very proud of the work that she's doing. And the numbers are staying consistent."
The inspections may be a result of Prentice patrolling the streets, as well as of complaints coming from the public.
"Unkempt property can be anything, whether it's cars on yard, or grass too high, or trees hanging over sideways," noted Lowen.
He added that it's common to see more inspections occurring at the end of spring.