Fox Creek crime rate is dropping

·3 min read

In a side by side comparison from January to September this year and last year, the overall criminal code offences decreased by six percent. Grouped in the decrease are property crimes and person crimes, both with a 12 percent decrease. The most significant change is a 21 percent decrease in break and enters, followed by a 20 percent reduction of theft under $5,000. Lastly, two fewer vehicles were stolen, which dropped on average a 10 percent decrease over the last two years. The reductions are not to say crimes are no longer an issue, but when doing a further breakdown of each category’s number of crimes, it shows a significant trend in the right direction. In just three months from July to September, there were 15 breaks and enters compared with 36 during the same period last year. While still occurring, vehicle theft is showing more of an up and down trend for each quarter. From July to September 2020, there were ten thefts. Unfortunately, this is double the amount from the previous three-month quarter between April and June. Looking at the big picture over the last two years, 2019 was at 21 thefts compared with 19 vehicles stolen from January 2020 to September.

Crimes related to personal possessions may be down, but there’s an 18 percent increase in other criminal code offences that is both disheartening and concerning. Spousal abuse rose a whopping 400 percent in 2020 and is the highest it’s been in the four-year chart. In a recent article in the Press Lynden Schwindt Family Violence Liaison with the Whitecourt Family Violence Initiative explained that people are feeling the effects of the two economic/environmental crises that are happening at the same time. Between the financial strains, stresses and staying home, it’s a lot to handle, and people don’t know where to turn.

Another concern that’s flagged by the local RCMP is speeders. There’s a 180 percent increase in violations so far compared with 2019. Speeding has been an on-going issue along Highway 43, going past Fox Creek, for some time now. The Town is working with the Coalition for Safer Alberta Roads to get the government to lower the speed limit. In the meantime, the Community Peace Officer and RCMP will continue to monitor and hand out violations to get speeders to slow down. According to Peace Officer Ferguson, he has conducted laser on Highway 43 for only one hour and recorded the average speed of vehicles doing 124 km/hr. Some of the more significant speeds noted were 135 km/hr, 142 km/hr, 137 km/hr, 131 km/hr and another edging closer to twice the speed limit and clocked at 185 km/hr. Another increase noted is with alcohol and drugs. While it remains well below provincial statistics, it’s still showing a rise of 133 percent for offences under the Cannabis Act and up 160 percent under the Liquor Act.

Vicki Winger, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Whitecourt Press