While there have been a flurry of discussions surrounding crime in the City and RM of Portage la Prairie, the Quarterly Report of the RCMP Central Plains detachment came in with hopeful numbers.
Inspector Paul Peddle explains that the summer saw more thefts, but numbers decreased this fall.
"We noticed that there was an increase in thefts of vehicles and attempted thefts of vehicles in our communities," says Peddle. "So, I'm proud to say that the members did some great work. We were able to apprehend some individuals that had stolen vehicles in the area, and we also executed some search warrants in our area that recovered some stolen properties from some break-and-enters in the community."
He notes there was also a decline in property crime.
"It started to go down again," continues Peddle. "With the summer months gone and the weather starting to turn a bit colder, that's typical. In the summer months, we see property crime increase a bit, but we're glad to see that those numbers have gone down. And on another note, as well, our Crime Severity Index for the area has gone down."
Peddle explains they're proud to see those numbers decrease, and he outlines the recent annual statistics.
"Over the last three years, the numbers have gone down," notes Peddle. "In 2019, we were at 285 on the Crime Severity Index. In 2020, it went down to about 230 and in 2021 we're at 227. We're happy to see those numbers decline because we were sitting at a very high rank within the country over the last few years. That's something to be proud of, and hopefully, those numbers will continue in the right direction."
He says Portage la Prairie is currently at #7 in Canada for population over 10,000.
"From what I understand, we've been as high as #3 in the country in the past," adds Peddle. "So, it's still not something to be extremely proud of with that number, but it's going in the right direction. Hopefully, pretty soon, we'll see that we're out of the top 10 in the country, so that's something that we're striving for, for sure."
The following chart shows 2017 experience a dramatic increase compared to 2016 with a 21.8 per cent climb. 2018 saw an additional increase from that point by 15.3 per cent and another increase on top of that for 2019 with 7.6 per cent more.
The chart shows that 2020 saw a significant decrease of 19.4 per cent with 2021 bring a slight additional decrease of 1.2 per cent. 2022 numbers will not be in until next year.
Peddle adds the Index determines a greater increase for a crime that involves more aggravated elements, such as sexual assault or murder, while other crimes have less considerable weight by comparison. The recent triple homicide that involved a fire may unfortunately increase the Index for Portage in the next assessment.