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Police report declines in thefts, assaults and mischief

Police have seen declines in thefts, mischief, disturbances and common assaults in Houston this past quarter, said RCMP Sgt. Rose.

Police have seen declines in thefts, mischief, disturbances and common assaults in Houston this past quarter, RCMP Sgt. Rose reported to council.

Presenting at the council meeting last week Tuesday, Sgt. Rose detailed enforcement of RCMP priorities including speeding, impaired driving and theft from vehicles.

In the last quarter, July 1 to Sept. 30, police caught five impaired drivers and issued 61 violations for speeding, 25 for other vehicle offences and 97 warnings, Sgt. Rose said.

The number of impaired drivers police caught is less than their goal, but Sgt. Rose says that's a good thing.

"It's not because we're not looking for them; we're just not finding them," he said.

"We are getting into the Christmas season, when drinking and driving tends to be a bigger issue… you're going to notice a very obvious increase in police presence at night, especially on weekends. We've also partnered with the traffic service unit based in Smithers, to come into Houston and do some additional enforcement, so you're going to see a fair number of road checks between now and the end of December," Sgt. Rose said.

Council raised concern last year about property crime, specifically theft from vehicles, and Sgt. Rose said he was happy to report that they had only one substantiated theft from a vehicle.

"We've seen a very, very significant decrease," said Sgt. Rose, adding that it is partly because of the local media advising people to lock their vehicles, and partly because one of the only property offenders in Houston is now in custody.

Sgt. Rose gave a list of other statistics, comparing the same quarter of 2012 to the past 2013 quarter:

Common assaults have decreased from 29 to 19, and break and enters have dropped from eight to six.

Thefts, mischief and possession of stolen property has significantly decreased, from 53 to 33.

Motor vehicle accidents have dropped slightly from 22 to 18, and injury accidents from five to four.

False alarms have stayed stable, with 25 in 2012 and to 26 this year.

Intoxication in public remains stable as well, with 29 last year and 26 this year.

Disturbance and breach of peace charges have substantially decreased from 61 to 31.

Police have also seen a distinct shift in calls for service: a drop in calls from a certain building on Sullivan Way, and a distinct increase in calls from the 3000 block of Pearson Road, said Sgt. Rose.

The Sullivan Way building, which has previously accounted for a large portion of calls, dropped from 46 in 2012, to 28 this year.

Calls from Pearson Road, on the other hand, went from four up to 18.

Sgt. Rose says some of the people have simply moved, but there is also "a fairly large group of new faces in that particular area."

"That's something we'll continue to monitor," he said.

The Houston police are planning to launch Block Watch in December.

"It is something that would help us because it encourages people in specific neighbourhoods to keep their eyes open and assist [police] by reporting anything that is of concern in their neighbourhood," said Sgt. Rose.

Anyone interested in Block Watch can contact Sgt. Rose at 250-845-2204.