More public awareness could be the cause of an apparent 42-per-cent rise in property crime last year, says Morinville’s top cop.
Morinville RCMP Staff Sgt. Chris Palfy gave his fourth quarter report on crime to town council March 10.
While the report found persons-related crimes (such as robberies) were up five per cent compared to 2018, it also found property-related crimes were up some 42 per cent compared to 2018 and 33 per cent compared to 2014, with theft under $5,000, fraud and mischief at five-year highs.
Car thefts were up about 28 per cent or about one extra stolen car every two months, Palfy said. Fraud reports rose 66 per cent to 68 cases from 41, most of which appeared to be related to phone scams.
Mischief and theft under $5,000 were up 58 and 39 per cent relative to 2018, Palfy continued. These trends may be related to catalytic converter and other precious metal thefts, but could also be the result of the police encouraging residents to report all crimes, no matter how small.
Palfy said he would address property crime by beefing up the Citizens on Patrol program and the Lock It or Lose It campaign (which encourages residents to secure their cars against theft). He also hoped to bring in a new database called Capture, which has been used with great success in Red Deer, to help cops track down video footage caught by local surveillance cameras to help solve crimes.