(File photo)

(File photo)

Coronation top cop addresses rash of property crime in the region

‘If (my members) are in the area, I try to make sure extra patrols are run through town,’

Coronation’s top cop attended the Halkirk village council meeting on Nov. 9 to give an update on crime in the region.

Council had requested RCMP Sgt. John Pike attend the meeting due to a rash of property crime being reported lately on social media.

“Incidents have increased drastically,” said Pike, acknowledging the reported increase. “In the last three months, there has been a lot more calls.”

According to Pike, between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30, the Coronation RCMP detachment had generated just under 1,200 case files, up significantly from around 900 during the same period the year before.

He credits the case file increase to two things: first, his members are on the road a lot more, making a lot more stops.

Secondly, his members are generating case files on items that previous commanding officers otherwise wouldn’t have had them generate one for.

Still, despite both of those reasons for increased case files, he has noticed that numbers are increasing as well.

“If (my members) are in the area, I try to make sure extra patrols are run through town,” said Pike.

Halkirk Mayor Thomas Schmidt asked Pike about the legalities surrounding a neighbourhood watch program of some sort running in the village to help augment the police.

Pike says that a program is viable, but it should be done with as little liability as possible, such as requiring security clearances of the volunteers.

One area surrounding liability that Pike did inform council of was that the role of any type of neighbourhood watch program in the community would be to just act as observers, as getting any more involved than that can put the volunteer’s safety at risk, or cause liability, if they try to detain someone improperly.

A final suggestion Pike left council with was the installation of video cameras on village-owned facilities.

“It’s hard to argue with video,” said Pike.

Any video or photographs of anyone caught wrongdoing is passed on to surrounding detachments to help identify suspects, according to Pike.

A more recent community break down has yet to be released, but for the period April 1 to June 31, 2021, the Coronation detachment responded to eight property crime calls in the village, and a total of 18 calls for various other offences.

With only two main accesses to the community, Schmidt has directed administration to begin pricing out security camera systems to see if at least those two routes could be covered.

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