ESTEVAN - The Estevan board of police commissioners reflected on crime statistics from June and July at their latest meeting on Aug. 17.
In both months, the Estevan Police Service received fewer calls for service in comparison to a year before. The year-to-date call volume dropped almost 29 per cent from 5,405 by the end of July 2021 to 3,860 in the first seven months of 2022.
As of the end of July, the number of calls for service was also 19 per cent below the five-year average year-to-date (YTD), which is 4,768.
The EPS had 608 calls for service in June, down from 738 for the same month in 2021. July saw 655 calls for service as opposed to 833 in July 2021.
Police Chief Rich Lowen noted that since the Police and Crisis Team (PACT) has been operational in Estevan since the end of June, mental health calls will go to them directly and won't be reflected in the EPS criminal statistics. However, calls that have to do with both mental health and criminal activity will still be addressed by the city police along with the PACT and will appear on the city's crime statistics.
Crimes against the person, on a monthly basis, were at 17 in June (from 11 in June 2021) and at 10 for July (from 17 in July 2021). In June, EPS recorded 11 assaults, one assault causing bodily harm and five sexual crimes. In July, officers responded to eight assaults, one assault causing bodily harm and one sexual crime.
As of the end of July, the year-to-date statistic showed an eight per cent increase in crimes against the person with 88 such incidents in 2022 as opposed to 81 in 2021. Estevan currently is sitting 15 per cent above the five-year average of 76.4.
Crimes against property were slightly up in June and July. In June 2022 there were 43 crimes against property committed in Estevan, versus 20 in June 2021. June 2022 saw 24 thefts under $5,000, 12 mischief/willful damage cases, three business break and enters, three thefts of motor vehicles and one theft of over $5,000. In July there were 44 crimes against property (42 in July 2021), with 20 thefts under $5,000, 18 mischief/willful damage cases, three residential break and enters, two thefts of motor vehicles and one theft over $5,000.
As of the end of July, the EPS saw a 13 per cent increase in crimes against property on a YTD basis with 183 cases in 2022 versus 162 in 2021. Yet, on the five-year average for the first seven months was 177.
Two charges were laid under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act in June for trafficking, and one was laid in July for possession. On a YTD basis, by the end of July, there is an 11 per cent decrease with a total of 24 cases so far in 2022 and 27 cases by the end of July 2021. There was a 17.2 per cent decline by the end of July in this type of violations in comparison to the five-year average, which is at 29.
There were 13 Criminal Code traffic violations in June, with 12 for impaired driving and one for impaired by drug. In July, Estevan saw nine Criminal Code Traffic violations, with seven for impaired driving and two for impaired by drug.
On a year-to-date basis in the first seven months of 2022 there were 60 cases reported in this section, and 78 over the same period of time in 2021, which is a 23 per cent decrease. In comparison to the five-year average (73.2), there is also an 18 per cent decline in 2022.
The report for bylaw enforcement officer Monica Prentice showed that there were 160 monthly occurrences in June and 105 in July.
The majority of June and July's activities were unkempt property inspections, with 84 and 68 respectively. There were also 23 parking violations, 14 animal calls, 10 other bylaw cases and seven taxi bylaw-related calls among the other calls for June. July also saw 17 parking violations, six animal calls, five parking complaints and several other calls.
For the first seven months of the year, numbers for bylaw enforcement officer remain pretty consistent.