RPS sees significant decrease in total crimes in first half of 2020
REGINA -- The Regina Police Service experienced a 19.6 per cent decrease in total crime during the first half of 2020 compared 2019, which saw an 11.6 per cent increase, according to its mid-year crime statistics report.
Included in total crime are criminal code violations, crimes against the person and crimes against property. It does not include traffic violations and drug violations.
The report says there were 6.1 per cent fewer reported crimes against the person, with a total of 1,416. At this point in 2019, there were 1,509. Crimes against the person counts the number of victims of violent violations, rather than the total number of events.
HOMICIDE, SEXUAL ASSAULT
So far in 2020, there have been eight homicides and 11 attempted murders. There were fewer homicides at this point in 2019 with six, and 25 attempted murders.
There have been 3.8 per cent fewer assaults in 2020 than in 2019, and 11.3 per cent fewer when compared to 2011.
Just below the 10-year average of 74, 73 sexual assaults have been reported so far in 2020. However, there were 44 other sex crimes reported, which is well above the ten year average of 21.8. The other sexual crimes category includes sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching, luring a child via a computer and voyeurism.
Police Chief Evan Bray said the increase in sex crimes correlates to the amount of investigation that is being done.
“We have Internet Child Exploitation, we have a family services section, we have a vice unit that all work on allegations of sexual assault, sexual violence,” Bray said. “Often it’s the number of investigations and subsequent charges that are laid that can drive up that number.”
The report says there was a 24.3 per cent decrease in robberies so far in 2020, with 124 reported.
There have been nine reported kidnapping and forcible confinement incidents, which is higher than the ten year average of 7.5 for this time of year.
Crimes against property are down by 30.4 per cent when compared to this time in 2019, and theft of motor vehicles is down by 48.4 per cent.
RPS has seen a significant increase in reported arson incidents, with 106 since the beginning of 2020. The ten year average is 53.3.
The chief said arson in the city ranges from garbage bin fires to vacant structures and house fires.
“Arsons, not always but often, trend like graffiti where you have one or two people responsible for a large number of them,” Bray said.
DRUGS AND OVERDOSES
There was also a significant increase in Criminal Drugs and Substances Act charges, from 183 last year to 286 this year.
The police chief said the increase is due to more aggressive work from officers, which stems from a high number of overdoses in the city over the past six months.
“We took it upon our service to do the types of investigation we could to find out where those drugs are coming from, do the seizures where we can and do public notifications of the dangers,” he said. “There has been a large number of drugs that have been seized this year. That’s what drives a lot of those stats that you see in terms of the CDSA charges.”