By J.W. Schnarr
Hot summer weather and alcohol are two common additives to the summer rise in crime, members of the RCMP told Municipal District of Taber council last week.
Cst. Melanie Schefter and Cst. Tamara Dreaddy of the Taber/Vauxhall RCMP detachment appeared as a delegation before council’s regular meeting on Aug. 11 as part of a monthly police update.
During discussion, Reeve Brian Brewin asked Schefter if the detachment has seen an increase in assaults during the summer.
“Alcohol is involved more often than not,” she said, noting that police see a rise in almost all crime during the summer.
“Certainly our mischiefs, and break-ins,” she said. “The warm weather just brings everybody out.”
But Schefter said her experience at other detachments has shown her domestic assaults often increased in the winter, when people are more likely to be cooped up.
She said there has been a recent increase of domestic assault in the area, however.
“We’ve had quite a few of those,” she said.
RCMP dealt with six assaults in July, up over three during the same period last year.
Those complaints of assault included two domestic complaints at Enchant campground, and in one instance, a female was charged.
A person in Barnwell called police to say a neighbour was assaulting his children.
There was also a report in Vauxhall from a girl stating her father was assaulting her mother, and with noticeable injuries, the male was charged.
A 9-1-1 complaint of an assault resulted in statements and photos being taken as evidence, but police did not proceed with charges.
A complaint of a sexual assault in Vauxhall resulted from a female reporting she had been sexually assaulted by an ex-boyfriend. The male was subsequently charged.
Overall, police responded to 159 complaints during the month of July, including;
Two complaints of impaired drivers, with one unsolved complaint which took place on Range Road 163, and a roadside suspension which occurred at the M.D. of Taber Park;
one complaint of break and enter in Barnwell, police said there was a two-day delay in reporting and the case is unsolved.
Complainants were advised to report crimes when they are happening;
two reports of theft, including a complaint that hay bales had been stolen. The case is still under investigation. Schefter said the complainant confronted the suspected thief, and the suspect is alleged to have thrown a rock and the complainant. Another complaint involved a stolen license plate, which was added to a police database.
one complaint of threats uttered, including an unknown person threatening to kill a complainant’s husband. Schefter said the call was anonymous and no suspect identified;
eight complaints of mischief, including complaints in Barnwell, Grassy Lake, Vauxhall, two in Enchant, and three in the M.D.;
one CDSA complaint, involving a person in a suspiciously-parked vehicle who was investigated by police. A strong odour of marijuana was observed. The suspect was arrested and a marijuana grinder was turned over to police;
20 complaints under other Criminal Code or Statutes;
nine requests to assist police, other agencies, or the general public;
nine 9-1-1 hangups;
three false alarms, including two residential and one commercial;
four complaints of abandoned vehicles;
five animal complaints;
one report of a suspicious vehicle;
three complaints of lost or found property, including a found bike, a wallet lost, and a wallet found;
one complaint under the Firearms Act, involving a report of shots fired at The Forks campsite. The suspects left the scene before police arrived;
28 traffic complaints;
nine traffic collisions; 17 bylaw complaints; and
13 administrative files opened.
In addition, police also issued 64 violation tickets, including:
seven other moving;
12 non-moving; and
nine other Provincial Acts or Statutes.
The M.D. Enhanced Community Policing Officer Cst. Tamara Dreaddy was unavailable for the month of July, but still investigated a bylaw complaint as well as 15 pivot complaints. She told council a number of tickets would be forthcoming.