DIDSBURY - Didsbury RCMP Staff Sgt. Chad Fournier appeared before Didsbury town council recently and gave the annual report from 2019 for the detachment.
Fournier showed a PowerPoint display and talked about the crime statistics for the Town of Didsbury.
“Persons crimes totals are down from 2018,” said Fournier. “They are more on par with 2016 and 2017.”
The number of persons crimes reported in Didsbury were 88, compared to 118 in 2018.
There were 51 assaults reported, up from 40 in 2018.
“For the last few years property crime has got the most attention in this area and around most of Alberta,” he said. “But from a police perspective it’s people that matter, not property. This is what our priority is. This is number 1 and property crime is a close number 2.”
Fournier told council that the numbers in the report are only the crimes that have been reported, not the actual number committed.
“These are the calls that come in to us,” he said. “When we do our investigation quite often they are unfounded or unsubstantiated.”
Regarding property crimes, Fournier said that the number for 2019 (351) was up from 2018 (261) but down from 2016 and 2017.
Under property crime, there were 107 reports of mischief to property, very similar to the 110 reported in 2018. There were 93 thefts under $5,000, down from 53 in 2018.
“A lot of the property crimes has to do with the success and attention we give our repeat offenders,” he said. “We know who’s doing it, everyone knows who’s doing it. It’s whether they’re in jail or out of jail.”
Fournier said the jails are packed with people who have committed persons crimes.
“There’s not a lot of room for those committing property crimes,” he said. “That’s why you see a big turnover, lots of bail and most of them don’t stay in jail very long.”
Motor vehicle collisions were at a four-year low, said Fournier.
There were 53 reported motor vehicle collisions in Didsbury in 2019, down from 76 in 2018.
Under common activities, there were 51 false alarms in 2019, which was down significantly from the year before (89).
In addition, there were 93 suspicious person/vehicle/property calls in 2019, almost the same as 2018 (95).
Fournier said he’s glad to see the suspicious persons/vehicles/property calls coming in from the public remaining high.
“We can’t do it ourselves,” he said. “I always say if you see anything suspicious out there give us a call.”