Crime is down in Princeton, drug charges are up

RCMP release six-month stats

Princeton cops are making progress on drugs, break-ins and traffic safety, according to a report presented to town council Monday night.

RCMP Sergeant Barry Kennedy said much of the detachment’s success this year can be attributed to keen-eyed citizens who cooperate with police.

“I would just really like to say we appreciate everybody providing the tips that are coming in. We are receiving quite a few and the public’s information is what directs us to where the crime is,” he said in an interview with The Spotlight. “As long as they keep calling we’ve got lots to do.”

Most notably Kennedy said local RCMP laid 11 drug-related charges in the past six months, compared to 12 charges in the entire proceeding year.

“We are receiving numerous tips about drug activity. One tip doesn’t equal one charge. It’s more like 10 tips equal one charge. Ten calls about drug activity give us enough to get warrants.”

Between April and September 2017 Princeton RCMP responded to 1283 calls for service – with 594 calls occurring within town boundaries. Those numbers are within single digits of the same period last year.

Police have processed 17 Criminal Code charges, compared to 26 in 2016.

Break and enters and thefts are down considerably over last year, and Kennedy said that is in part due to the success of the detachment’s prolific offender program. That initiative targets convicted criminals by checking on and enforcing their conditions of release.

“If they are not in compliance we put charges on them.”

During the six-month period there were a total of 35 thefts reported and 26 instances of mischief compared to 40 thefts and 22 cases of mischief during the same time in the previous year.

“It appears that the majority of calls are in rural properties and the suspects are from other communities. This is reflective of the previous work done to catch the local perpetrators and incarcerate them,” he said.

“Overall we are seeing a decrease in property crime.”

Traffic accidents and resulting injuries also fell over the last six months. There were 77 collisions with 38 resulting in personal injury compared to 85 collisions with 41 resulting in personal injury.

“We try to have a highly visible presence on the road,” said Kennedy.

In the past six months police laid eight charges of impaired driving.

During the same timeframe RCMP received 20 reports of domestic abuse, and seven of those resulted in charges.

“Domestic violence is unacceptable so if there is evidence of assault we are going to do something about it.”

There has been a lot of staff turnover at the Princeton detachment in the past six months, Kennedy added.

Constables Shaw, Kaufmann and Oliver moved to other areas of policing and were replaced by Constables Keith Rogers, Ken Jaques and Grant Bernier.

“They all like the community,” said Kennedy. “They are all participating in activities in the community and have a stake in the community.”

While the Princeton detachment has employed female officers in the past, there are currently none working in the community at this time, he said.

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