Highway fatalities up in 2013 compared to previous year

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Nancy MacPhee
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Impaired driving, property and drug crimes top calls, says Blackadar

SUMMERSIDE — Property-related calls and impaired driving, although fewer than in 2012, topped the list of crimes Island RCMP investigated in 2013.

RCMP Sgt. Andrew Blackadar speake to reporters.

RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Andrew Blackadar said last year, Island RCMP investigated 434 break and enter reports, down from 526 in 2012.

“It was a busy year but on par with the year before,” said Blackadar. “The calls for service were about the same. We saw a reduction in our property crime, in terms of the number of break and enters that were reported, and a reduction in impaired driving convictions.”

Blackadar attributed, in part, the reduction in property-related crime to RCMP’s Crime Reduction Strategy, which also focuses on reducing impaired driving on the Island.

“We have a crime analyst in the province that analyzes all our property crime data, tries to make the associations and links between the crimes and groups and criminals in the province,” he noted. “We’re able to pay more attention to our prolific offenders and we’re keeping closer tabs. We have better crime analysis… and they can draw those causal links, which allow us to investigate things in a much quicker fashion.”

When it comes to property-related crimes — thefts, break-ins, possession of stolen property and fraud — the offenders tend to be known to police.

“We do see fluctuations in property crimes. In ’09 or 2010, our property crimes had decreased dramatically and then went back up. That’s very fluid in terms of when people are in jail and when people are out of jail,” said Blackadar. “If we work very hard on a number of property crimes and put a bunch of people in jail, then, after the sentence expires, they come out and we see a boost in our property crimes again. Again, we conduct our investigations and find the people that are responsible and put them in jail.”

He noted that the majority of RCMP’s time and resources are spent on investigating these types of crimes, which, he added, are mostly related to addiction.

“It is very cyclical and it goes right back to drug and alcohol abuse and mainly prescription drug abuse,” said Blackadar.

One area where there was an increase was in the number of highway fatalities.

In 2013, 15 people were killed on Island roadways, up from 12 in 2012.

But the number of alcohol-related highway fatalities dropped, from seven in 2012 to three last year.

The number of marijuana-grow operations that were dismantled were fewer than in 2012, with 22 uncovered that year and 20 in 2013.

With about 150 officers and six detachments across the Island, Blackadar said the RCMP works strategically and efficiently to fight crime on P.E.I.

But, he added, the help of Islanders is crucial.

“People have to understand that the police can’t do it on their own. Without the public’s assistance we would never be able to solve any crime,” said Blackadar. “We really want them to be vigilant out there and report suspicious activity and never hesitate in picking up the phone and calling police. We’ll always look into your complaint.

“Together, we can make this a safer Island.”

 

nmacphee@journalpioneer.com

 

Organizations: RCMP

Geographic location: Iceland

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  • don
    January 09, 2014 - 23:48

    if ghiz would fallow up with his promise back in 97 we would have at least double the police so 300 RCMP on this island would do in getting the drunken murders off the roads. but does wes care NO.