The overall number of reported crimes in the City of Grande Prairie dropped 10 per cent in 2021 from 2020. According to data released by the detachment as part of its Q4 report to members of the Protective and Social Services Committee on Tuesday, there were 11,189 actual offenses in 2021, down from 12,496 the year prior.
Constable Lindsay Ralph says while analysts continue to pour over the data, she believes the downtick could partially come down to the ease at which people can now make police reports. She says not only does it streamline the data to the RCMP, but it allows for people to make reports sooner, which can help greatly in an investigation.
“It’s really good because over the last year the Alberta RCMP implemented online reporting, so they’re able to put through their report rather than having to either phone the detachment or come down to the detachment and file a report in person,” she says.
“We’re able to look at that information, and find proactive ways to try and curb crime in the future, or find hotspots in the city we can try and focus on and try to continue to reduce those numbers.”
Ralph says some of the highlights she is happy to see are a nine per cent decrease in property crime and a 21 per cent decrease in other criminal code offenses. She says it’s gratifying to see the continued response from residents to keep their communities safe, and when added in with proactive policing, it creates tangible results.
“It’s gratifying as long as we have that connection to the community reporting to us, and telling us what’s happening around them,” she says.
“Conducting patrols, and making sure they’re driving around certain times if we see a spike in crime or a spike in a particular area, and just keeping an eye out if there is anything out of the ordinary or suspicious occurring.”