Crime trends on the rise in the community

Based on a recent release from the Lacombe Police Service (LPS) crime rates are on the rise in the City.

Based on a recent release from the Lacombe Police Service (LPS) crime rates are on the rise in the City.

The report stated calls for service have increased by 20 per cent over the past two years, with LPS responding to 7,000 service calls in 2015.

The types of calls/investigation numbers for 2015 break down to 74 break and enters, 52 drug (trafficking/possession), 11 firearms, 53 frauds, 77 impaired driving, 91 mental health, 137 mischief to property, 341 thefts/possession of stolen property and 28 assaults (common, domestic, sexual). The biggest percentage increase between 2014 to 2015 includes a 154% increase in assault calls and a 120% increase in firearm calls.

LPS Chief Murray said a growing community, the weakening economy and stresses on families and individuals are perhaps factors in the increase and are often evident when LPS members respond to calls.

While the crime stats are not in yet from Blackfalds RCMP for the town, Blackfalds Mayor Melodie Stol said crime rates have not increased in the municipality, despite a population increase of 12% in 2015.

Stol said the stats for the year have remained the same as last year, which is encouraging to her, but there is always room for improvement. In 2015 Blackfalds began working with the Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre and will continue on the partnership this year.

Community groups like the Lacombe Community Watch Association, which includes Neighbourhood Watch, Citizens on Patrol and Block Parent are attempting to combat this trend through a proactive, engaged citizen approach. Groups in Lacombe County like rural crime watch associations also strive towards reducing crime in rural areas.

With more residents committed to being proactive against crime as well as keeping their eyes and ears open for anything suspicious, the community can be a safer place.