Crime is down in the Friendly City, seemingly bucking the trend of increased crime with increased traffic.
© Justin Crann
Sgt. Cliff Froehlich with the Moose Jaw Police Service discusses crime statistics. The recent rise in several property crimes could be an indicator that a new group is active in the Friendly City, he said.
“Currently, with the economy the way that it is, there are more people in town and they’re doing more things. When there’s more people around, (crime) numbers generally tend to increase,” Sgt. Cliff Froehlich with the Moose Jaw Police Service (MJPS) told the Times-Herald Monday. “We’re always looking to improve on our policing practices, and by determining a lesser amount of a certain type of crime, that indicates our policing strategy is working.”
According to their most recent statistical extract, crimes against the person — including assaults, robberies, threats and domestic disputes — are almost universally down at this time of the year over 2012.
Year to date as of July 2012, for instance, there had been 30 assaults with a weapon causing bodily harm. This year in the same period, there was only 11.
But there have been increases in several particular kinds of crimes against property, including breaking and entering in businesses and other structures such as cars, storage units and schools.
According to Froehlich, those increases can be an indicator that a group of individuals are active.
“We see that quite often ... that is sometimes an indicator that it could be a new group of people who are becoming involved in crime,” he said. “Those types of people tend to go on crime sprees. Until we can get a handle on that, for example by arresting, charging and putting them on court conditions ... they seem to continue.”
Froehlich said the nature of such groups is cyclical. Often police will finally have dealt with one group — or that group simply moves on — and “a year or two later, it seems like there’s just a whole new batch.”
The police, Froehlich said, will often use statistics and concerns of the public and media to identify priority crime areas to address in their strategies.
He added that the public can also assist by co-operating with MJPS officers when they see a crime.
“I encourage the public to be involved and co-operative with the police, just to be the eyes and ears for (them),” Froehlich said. “We don’t want them to get involved with the act of crime or vigilantism, but we always encourage the public to speak with and co-operate with officers.
The more co-operation and eyes and ears that we have, and the more information we have, the quicker we can get a handle on these things,” he added.