Salmon Arm RCMP Staff Sergeant Scott West. (File Photo)

Shuswap RCMP see fewer calls for service but more property, violent crimes

Statistics affected by recent changes to reporting process

While calls for police service were down over the past few months compared to the same time last year, Salmon Arm RCMP responded to more reports involving violent crime, property crime and other criminal code violations.

Staff Sgt. Scott West presented his quarterly report to Salmon Arm city council on Monday, Aug. 12. West addressed fluctuations in categories like motor vehicle collisions, violent persons and property crime, as well as the increase in total number of calls compared to statistics from 2018.

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In the second quarter of 2018 there were 48 reported motor vehicle collisions. During the same quarter in 2019 that number was nearly halved with 26 reported collisions.

“Calls for service were down just slightly over the same time period last year, probably attributable to some of the weather that we had in the April, May and June range,” West said. “Motor vehicle collisions are down, of course when the weather is bad our motor vehicle collisions usually go up.”

Some changes in data from 2018 to 2019 can be attributed to changes in the way some reports are being counted, a change implemented since the first quarter of 2019. Changes came in the form of collision reports and unsubstantiated crimes.

Read more: Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

Read more: Property crime in Shuswap jumps in last quarter of 2018

One such change came in the form of collision reports. West said RCMP reports now reflect collisions involving damages over $10,000 in value, a limit that was previously set at $1,000. He said this was to account for the fact vehicles are more expensive to replace or repair and purchase.

Councillor Kevin Flynn questioned West on statistics for the second quarter last year and this year – in particular, how persons violent crime was up by 38 reports, total property crime by 131 and criminal code violation reports by 137. Flynn noted that even though these reports had increased, the total calls for service were down by 55. Flynn asked West how related those increases were to the change in reporting.

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“I would suggest that they are not wholly… a response to our change in reporting,” West said. “I would suggest some of that is a result of the statistics reporting but most of that is going to be because it’s actually up.”

West said the Salmon Arm detachment had issued 36 high risk driving charges, conducted 30 downtown foot patrols and conducted 22 priority offender checks. He mentioned a fatal collision that occurred in a rural area is being investigated by regional highway patrol.


@CameronJHT
Cameron.thomson@saobserver.net

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