Like other RCMP detachments all across the province, the Thorsby/Breton detachment in Leduc County is seeing a rise in certain crime trends. However, the detachment commander says operations are running similarly to past years.
According to Sgt. Corey Kyle, detachment commander, one of the main focuses of the detachment this year is reducing property crime.
One technique Kyle told Leduc County council about, during their May 10 meeting, was the prolific offenders checks. The detachment’s goal was 250 checks but by the end of 2015 year 715 checks had been completed.
Kyle told council the initiative went over well with only a few complaints from people who felt they were being checked too often. “Overall that worked really well.”
This year the goal will be maintained at 250 checks.
Another program the detachment is using is the Habitual Offender Management Program. Officers work with probation staff and Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) to encourage offenders to move on from crime. “You can choose to one, move, two, got to jail or three, stop committing crime,” said Kyle.
In consultation with council and communities, the Thorsby/Breton detachment is making breaking and entering and impaired driving its two main priorities of 2016.
Kyle’s report to council states the detachment is looking to improve the number of check stops and increase visibility in and around the communities to reduce help reduce the number of impaired drivers.
Council was informed the number of “persons crime” has also increased, but not with the same consistency as property crimes. Kyle says those numbers mean more people are reporting domestic violence situations. He explained seeing a decrease in persons crimes, especially during a time of economic strife, would be a concern.
Kyle also ran councillors through a few of the significant events the detachment has been dealing with. One near the top of the list is arson. “We have a house arson file that’s ongoing. We had two or three but the one is quite suspicious.”
Other events include the 14 multi-vehicle collision along Highway 39 on December 29, 2015, a now-concluded missing persons investigation, theft of an ATM from Thorsby on February 29, 2016 and damage to another ATM in the town. The Leduc and District Rural Crime Watch has absorbed the areas formally covered under the Strawberry Crime Watch following the association’s dissolution.