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Cranbrook RCMP reports significant increase in crime

Cranbrook RCMP said there was a 13.6 per cent rise in police reports in 2021.

The information presented to Cranbrook city council Monday night compares local RCMP reports from the last quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022 and compares the data to the same time frame a year prior.

According to RCMP, break and enter reports were up significantly in the last three months of 2021, with 19 commercial and 24 residential.

Compare this to the fourth quarter of 2020, when seven commercial and 10 residential break and enters were reported.

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“I believe last year, files in general were up by about 13.6 per cent in Cranbrook. In the fourth quarter, commercial break-ins were up by 171 per cent,” said Cranbrook RCMP Staff Sgt. Barry Graham.

Comparing the first quarters of 2021 and 2022 looks a bit different. 

Commercial break and enter reports were up from seven in 2021 to 13 in 2022), and residential break-ins were up from 12 in 2021 to 16 in 2022).

“They are concerning numbers, and we’re hoping to get a better handle on crime as our resources improve over the coming months,” said Graham.

According to police data, total RCMP calls to service rose by 19 per cent in the last quarter of 2021 (from 1,916 in 2020 to 2,287 in 2021) and seven per cent in 2022 (1,994 in 2021 to 2,131 in 2022).

“We have seen, for a while, the upward trend in most areas, most notably in property crime, but we’re all aware of the impact locally,” said Graham.

Graham said Cranbrook’s police force has been hit particularly hard with a shortage of resources, but he is hopeful that things will turn around.

“We have a lot of members returning to duties locally and we’ve been working hard with our staffing personnel to bump up our numbers,” said Graham. “We look to be in really good shape this summer.”

Notably, reports of assault decreased in Q4 2021 from 52 in 2020 to 25, only for Q1 reports to rise from 49 in 2021 to 80 in 2022.

Other areas saw similar fluctuation in numbers between reporting periods, such as a decrease in traffic tickets and warnings in Q4 2021. Those same areas saw an increase in Q1 2022.

The full quarterly report from Cranbrook RCMP can be found below.

While some changes in percentage may look significant, the actual numbers may not be as dramatic of a jump.

For example, there was a 200 per cent increase in impaired driving investigations in Q4 2021 from the same time in 2020, but the actual number rose from three to nine.

More: Cranbrook RCMP quarterly report (Q4 2021 and Q1 2022)

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