Manitoba RCMP announced April 28 that they will begin providing monthly statistics about their policing activities in the province and the first monthly snapshot shows that the largest percentage of occurrences in three broad categories were in the north district, which includes all communities from Grand Rapids north.
Fifty per cent of the crimes against persons that RCMP responded to in March 2021 were in the north, compared to 28 per cent in the east district and 21 per cent in the west district. The north district accounted for 40 per cent of crimes against property that month, compared to 36 per cent in the east and 24 per cent in the west district. Forty-one per cent of common police activities calls were in the north, with 33 per cent in the east and 26 per cent in the west. Common police activities calls include things such as wellbeing checks and are not all criminal in nature.
In raw terms, 811 crimes against persons were responded to in the north in March of this year, compared to 460 in the east district and 344 in the west district. There were 908 property crimes in the north, 814 in the east and 539 in the west. Common police activities conducted in the north totalled 910, compared to 730 in the east and 569 in the west.
These categories represent actual crimes while calls for service includes complaints that are deemed unfounded. The north actually had fewer calls for service than the east district in March 2021 – 5,898 to 6,764. Calls in all three districts rose in March 2021 from the previous year, but the percentage change in the north was only 5.6 per cent, compared to 28.4 per cent and 3.1 per cent in the east and the west districts.
In the common police activities category, the north saw an 11 per cent decrease in March of this year compared to 2020, driven largely by missing persons reports dropping by 37 per cent, from 247 to 155, though well-being checks increased 81 per cent, from 67 to 121.
Crimes against persons in the north district increased two per cent in March from the previous year, despite a three per cent drop in the number of assaults, as sexual offences increased by 39 per cent, from 38 to 53. These offences include sexual assault calls, which went from 25 in 2020 to 33 this March, and sexual interference, which increased from seven to 12.
Property crimes in the north district also went up over the previous year in March 2021, mostly due to a 13.7 per cent increase in mischief occurrences, while theft under $5,000 dropped 35 per cent and theft over $5,000 decreased 11 per cent, from 19 occurrences to 17.
The north accounted for 20 per cent of serious vehicle collisions (those which result in at least one person suffering a non-fatal injury that results in them being taken to hospital) in March 2021, double the percentage in the west. Seventy per cent of serious collisions that month were in the east district.
Publishing these monthly statistics is an effort to be transparent and accountable, Manitoba RCMP say.
"Our goal is to ensure Manitobans have a better sense of the types of crime occurring where they live and if there are any emerging crime trends in their area," said Manitoba criminal operations officer Chief Supt.Rob Hill.
The statistics are available on the RCMP website at https://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/mb/stats/index-eng.htm#a1.