Innisfail RCMP saw a mixed bag when it came to dealing with crime in 2016.
Staff Sergerant Chris Matechuk recently presented last year's crime statistics to town council.
Matechuk says a two per cent decrease in overall calls last year makes it hard to say whether crime is actually going down in the Innisfail Detachment area.
"Every year we have annual performance plans, we identify issues and we target certain areas. One area last year that we targeted was crime prevention," he said.
That focus led to a 24 per cent increase in traffic violations being handed out last year. There was also a notable 28 per cent uptick in suspicious persons, vehicle and property-related incidences.
Where things improved the most were cases of theft under $5,000 (down 31 per cent) and assault (down 36 per cent).
The number of youth-involved in crime was also down 26 per cent.
"We try to be proactive in the schools as much as we can," said Matechuk. "We support our youth justice society here quite a bit. We are really involved in that area and hope that's having an effect."
Matechuk said public participation can help put a larger dent into crime, which he noted is decreasing and increasing equally in town and the more rural areas.
"Policing is only as effective as what we get from the community. Please report crime, please report anything you feel is suspicious. The less we get, the less effective we are," he said.
Matechuk also updated council on the various initiatives his detachment has been involved in. They include presentations on drugs, an increase in resources for traffic enforcement, weekly checkstops, and participation in the Priority Crimes Task Force. As well, the Innisfail Urban Watch Society, formerly Citizens on Patrol, is up and running.
The full report is on the Town of Innisfail website.
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