Houston crime and violence is climbing to alarming rates.
RCMP Sergeant Stephen Rose told council that crime is “the highest we’ve ever had in Houston.”
In 2014 police had 2,200 files, five percent more then 2013 and more than ever before, Sgt. Rose reported to a recent council meeting.
Domestic violence almost tripled and common assault more then doubled between 2013 and 2014, Sgt. Rose said.
In addition to violence, break and enters doubled and mischief climbed 50 percent.
It’s “definitely outside the norm, and not something we’ve seen since 2012,” Sgt. Rose said.
He says the increasing violence is partly from new people in town.
“There are some people who are repeat offenders, however a lot of those assaults and domestic violence incidents are people that aren’t traditionally part of this community,” he said.
Asked if he sees a link between increased crime and the closure of Houston Forest Products (HFP), Sgt. Rose said no.
“It’s hard to say definitively, but I don’t think there’s a connection,” he said.
“If the people we were dealing with in the last quarter were long-term residents of Houston, you may be able to make that connection, but because they’re not, I don’t think they’re employees of West Fraser.”
Sgt. Rose added that the constables responding to the calls say they are seeing and dealing with people they’ve never met or seen before.
Some of these constables have lived here over three years, he said.
Asked about the increase in break and enter files, Sgt. Rose noted that in December 2014 and January 2015, Houston Secondary School was broken into three times, Nadina twice, and Northstar once.
Even if the files may be related, “each break in is a new file and a new offence,” he said.