More weapons involved in recent crimes

Nathan Liewicki
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Machetes, pipes and firearms used frequently in recent weeks

Sgt. Cliff Froehlich of the Moose Jaw Police Service (MJPS) said the reasons behind a recent spike in violent criminal activity is difficult to pinpoint.

Violent crime in Moose Jaw has been on a recent incline. The Moose Jaw Police Service's Sgt. Cliff Froehlich said it's difficult to pinpoint the reason for this.

“Is it a sign of the times? I’d have to say yes,” said Froehlich. “The times are changing and do change. If you look at other cities, as well as Moose Jaw, you will see some of those trends as well.”

Recent criminal activity, especially with weapons, has risen in the Friendly City.

Crown prosecutor Rob Parker acknowledged that in the past couple of weeks there has been a spike in violent criminal activity. He does, however, believe it’s a “short-term blip” on the radar.

There were four incidents involving bear spray in 2013 and another that occurred in the early morning hours of February 22 on the zero block of Kalmia Crescent.

Three people involved in a March 19 home invasion still await sentencing, facing charges that include several firearms charges.

In the past two weeks MJPS has responded to other incidents involving dangerous weapons.

On April 18, Thomas Slater, 20, was wielding a machete when he confronted three youths. Although Slater didn’t use the machete, he kicked and punched the youths. He has since been charged with three counts of assault with a weapon and carrying a weapon dangerous to the public.

One week later, three youths robbed a man at gunpoint during an encounter on the 200 block of High Street West. The victim was also struck by a metal bar, to which he sustained minor injuries.

Froehlich doesn’t believe the recent upswing in crimes involving weapons is the result of greater and better access to said weapons.

“A pipe is a pipe. A machete is still a machete,” Froehlich told the Times-Herald. “You go down to the local hardware store and pick up a machete, just because they are there for different purposes.”

He added that the majority of suspects the MJPS deals with are, generally speaking, young males – young offenders and young adults.

Froehlich was, however, quick to point those involved in these types of criminal activities are not gang-related, even if there are multiple persons involved in committing the crimes.

Personally, Froehlich believes social media plays a role in crime trends.

“Maybe more information in social media is available to more young people more often and it’s maybe copycat-type incidents,” he said.

There was one thing Froehlich noted that might help to keep younger offenders away from criminal activity.

“Parents and guardians need to try to be a little more diligent and be involved with their children more and getting to know who their friends are, what they are doing and who they are hanging out with,” said Froehlich.

Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks

Organizations: Times-Herald

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Friendly, High Street West

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