Property crime in Kings County continues to decrease, says the Kings RCMP.
In his annual report to the Kingston Village Commission recently, Sgt. Jamie Greene, RCMP Kings West head of operations, said 24-hour policing throughout the county is having an impact on many aspects of their job.
In the past six months, property crimes had decreased by 13 per cent overall, while business break-and-enters were down by 35 per cent and residence break-and-enters were down by 24 per cent. Cottage and seasonal break-and-enters were down by 70 per cent, although Greene expected the latter to change somewhat over the summer months, with more residents making greater use of summer and seasonal homes.
Miscellaneous break-and-enters were down by 51 per cent, and general mischief calls dropped by 18 per cent. Overall calls for RCMP service were down by seven per cent.
Sexual assault complaints were up, which Greene attributed, in part, to “more people being willing to make complaints.”
Thefts from motor vehicles, he said, could be largely prevented by “people keeping their vehicle doors locked.”
There had been a 13 per cent increase in checkpoint stops, many in the overnight hours as a result of county-wide 24-hour policing, which Greene felt was likely also a major factor in a 13.7 per cent increase in impaired driving charges.
ATV thefts increase
Greene and his colleagues remain concerned with an increase in the incidence of thefts of ATVs and other similar vehicles.
“Our latest stats show there have been 15 ATVs stolen in Kings County in the past three months, since March 5.”
Thefts have been noted in Annapolis County as well, centered in an area between Nictaux and Berwick where seven or eight machines have been reported stolen.
“(ATV owners) should keep their vehicles secure, and keep an eye on them – and hide the keys, as people have been known to break into garages, even in daylight hours. And if you notice anything suspicious, give the police a call,” Greene said.
Eye on known criminals
As part of the Crime Reduction Strategy throughout Kings County, RCMP maintain a Prolific Offender Program, aimed at repeat and chronic offenders.
There were 460 compliance checks on 67 different individuals, which Greene said was having the effect of “keeping offenders at home and off the street.”
There were, he said, “several reasons” for the decrease in overall calls for service.
“We have had a number of people incarcerated for various crimes, and as they come back out, we’re tending to keep a closer eye on them,” Greene said.
More compliance and curfew checks are being carried out, and a Kings District Comstat (computer statistics) model is identifying and targeting repeat offenders.
In terms of the upcoming year, Greene outlined the main priorities of Kings District RCMP as further crime reduction; road safety, targeting both alcohol, people impaired by drugs and improper cellphone use; cyber crime and social media crime; and safer youth, focusing on dealing more with youth in the schools.
The Kings Senior Safety Program continues, focusing on home visits, referrals from police, presentations and special projects, working hand-in-hand with community liaison officers.