Several categories of crime and other police matters tracked by the Thompson RCMP declined significantly in 2020 compared to the previous year, detachment officer-in-charge Insp. Chris Hastie told the city’s recreation and community services committee at their Jan. 19 meeting.
There were 840 fewer request to locate and missing persons reports in 2020 than 2019, and public disorder calls declined by nearly 1,000, while there were also 175 fewer theft reports and 274 fewer assault calls.
The number of traffic collisions and the number of impaired driving charges were also down significantly as were the total number of break-and-enters and robberies, though there were still nearly twice as many robbery calls this year than in 2018 and 2017. .
Categories that saw large increases included mischief, up 704 incidents from 2019, and provincial traffic offences, up 262 from the previous year.
“2020 was more comparable to 2018, 2017,” said Hastie. “2019 was kind of an anomaly, I think.”
Despite the decreases in some statistics, the detachment still responded to about 20,000 calls over the course of last year.
“It wasn’t as busy as 2019 but we are still the busiest RCMP detachment in Manitoba,” said Hastie.
Fewer impaired driving charges are mainly due to police now being able to issue immediate roadside suspensions to drivers, 20 of which were handed out last year.
The relaunch of Street Reach in Thompson also contributed to the drop in the number os missing person reports and requests to locate.
“I notice the volume of complaints, missing persons per night, has been greatly reduced,” said Hastie.
Public disorder complaints, which included people causing disturbances and intoxicated people account for about a quarter of all the calls Thompson RCMP responded to – more than 5,000 last year – though about half are resolved without anyone being arrested or taken to the drunk tank. Thompson lodges a large number of prisoners in its cells under the Intoxicated Persons Detention Act.
“Last year we lodged approximately 7,400 prisoners,” said Hastie, and about five of every six were for public intoxication while the others were provincially remanded prisoners.
A sobering centre, which the province has promised money for, could eliminate many public disorder calls. Hastie said.
“They do take up a large volume of police resources and quite often most of them are non-criminal in nature.”