March may have seen the city’s first homicide of the year, but police crime statistics showed a slight drop in violence during the first two months of 2017.
The Prince Albert police service has just released its February crime statistics, which, combined with January’s report, show less reporting of violent crime compared to the same period in 2016. Rates for each month were also slightly lower than December’s figures.
Sexual assault is down very slightly, with 15 cases to the end of February – one fewer than were reported up to that time last year. There were also two fewer robberies. With 92 reported cases, other assaults were down by a quarter, while all forms of violent crime dropped about 30 per cent.
But it isn’t all good news. The statistics show an increase in every category of property crime, including a one-third increase in motor vehicle theft and a 50 per cent increase in break and enters.
Police Chief Troy Cooper warned that it’s still too early to draw broad conclusions from the data, but he blamed the property crime spike on uncharacteristically warm weather and the continuing scourge of methamphetamine.
“We still have an issue with the subculture of gangs and drugs,” he said. “With increasing drug use we will see an increase in property crime. That goes hand in hand.”
For more on this story, see the March 29 print or e-edition of the Daily Herald.