A recent spike in property crime in Grande Prairie could be blamed on the time of year. Numbers released by the RCMP show that crime rates for the last two years were the same up until July when they shot up. Superintendent Don McKenna says the spike was caused by the summer season.
“There was a spike in July and August around property theft such as vehicle theft and break-ins as well as other property crime but of course, you look at July and August when it’s light out, it’s also very warm and people are more apt to be outside.”
So far this year, break and enters have increased from 205 to 224 and vehicle thefts sit at 350 incidents from 266 last year. McKenna says most of the people who are committing these types of crimes are repeat offenders turning to crime to feed a drug habit.
“If you’re a drug addict your compulsion to get more drugs is overwhelming and it’s very difficult to stop what you’re doing. You need a lot of self-control and if you had a lot of self-control and could stop taking drugs, you wouldn’t be stealing cars.”
McKenna says the crime reduction unit and the drug unit will continue to work together to track repeat offenders in order to address the link between crime and drug use. He also expects crime rates to decrease as the weather gets colder and people move inside.