RCMP reports local crime slightly up, but within projected metrics

The Strathmore RCMP detachment presented their quarterly report to town council during the Sept. 7 regular council meeting.

This quarterly report presented findings that accumulated between the months of April through June this year, offering a glimpse into how local crime statistics are shifting.

Staff Sergeant Mark Wielgosz said criminal activity, although up slightly, remains within the expected metric and is largely being committed by those who do not reside in the local area.

An uptick in theft of motor vehicles did occur during quarter one, though it was largely restricted to crimes of opportunity.

“Theft from motor vehicles has increased and that’s primarily from the resurgence of theft of catalytic converters,” said Wielgosz. “It’s an issue that we are struggling with in the Calgary urban area, although through the assistance of our Southern Alberta district crime reduction team, as well as our criminal analysts, we are able to identify offenders.”

Strathmore RCMP are working with Calgary and other detachments to minimize monetization of stolen metal recycling, as well as reduce impact to those who may be affected.

“If you can’t make money off the items that you’re stealing, it reduces the attractiveness of committing the crime,” said Wielgosz. “While we are seeing an uptick (and) crime is happening, I do want to assure the public that our services are responsive, we work collaboratively with our law enforcement partners and our members are working hard to ensure that those responsible are held accountable.”

Quarter one also saw an uptick in break and enters, which were largely against businesses, however, similar to thefts of and from motor vehicles, or of valuable metals from industrial sites, those crimes being committed are by people who are not from the local area, nor the town of Strathmore.

Wielgosz added the April to June second quarterly report reflects similar priorities for local law enforcement to last year’s priorities that had been identified in consultation with town council, as well as with community individuals and organizations.

“For our first priority this year, we are looking to make sure we are reducing property crimes and that is a reduction of theft in vehicles, theft from vehicles and break and enters into our properties,” he said.

RCMP are observing a positive movement from the new security screw program, as the amount of people who stop by dealerships or the RCMP detachment to have security screws installed on their license plates is increasing and remains steady.

More information regarding the quarterly report is available to the public through the Town of Strathmore website.

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times