Councillor seeks clarification on crime stats

Spallumcheen crime stats concern councillor Todd York

One Spallumcheen councillor is looking for statistical clarity from the RCMP.

Todd York had a question about the Vernon-North Okanagan detachment’s quarterly report from April to June, which showed that the township’s calls for service in June totalled 114, up from 83 the year before in the same month, but only listed 24 of those files for certain Criminal Code and Motor Vehicle Act offences.

“Are there a whole lot of files opened above these different categories?” asked York at Monday’s regular township council meeting. “Where are the other 80-something files? What category do they fall under?”

The quarterly report showed Spall’s total calls for service increasing from 112 in May and 92 in June. York’s worried the numbers may be used against the township in negotiations to pay for police officers.

“If this very information gets used to determine the cost proportion in three years, then there has to be some consistency as to how this is done so these file numbers don’t appear to be out of whack,” said York.

Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP Supt. Reg Burgess can alleviate York’s concerns.

Burgess said it would take a huge major impact to change the policing numbers the township has agreed upon with the province

“These quarterly reports let mayors and councils know what’s happening on sort of a day-to-day basis,” said Burgess, Tuesday. “When they’re doing the actual negotiations, the province looks at Statistics Canada reports and the overall big picture.”

In his reports, Burgess said total calls for service are based on files open, which could be somebody phoning in a loud noise complaint.

The statistics he bases his reports on only pick out certain calls to report on, and those include the more serious calls for Criminal Code offences.

“That’s why there’s a discrepancy,” said Burgess, in response to York’s query.

In June 2012, there were nine motor vehicle accidents, according to Burgess’ report, same as June 2011. There were three assaults and three thefts from vehicles.

Armstrong’s total calls for service in June were 98, down two from 100 the year before. Files dropped to 88 from 94 in May, and increased to 85 from 76 in April when compared to the same months in 2011.

There were five assaults in Armstrong in June.