By Nikki Jamieson
There has been a spike in crimes this past November compared to last year. With the previous month reporting a decrease in crime, this may seem troublesome.
According to the Taber RCMP monthly report during the Municipal District of Taber council meeting on Dec. 8, they have received 146 calls during the month of November this year, compared to 128 calls last year.
Contributing to this is an increase in 911 hang-ups (14 compared to 12), traffic complaints (20 to 18), bylaw complaints (five to one) and other criminal code/statute violations (28 to 20).
Also up in the past month are thefts (five to three), from oil fields.
“We’re starting to see a little activity in the oil field thefts,” said Sgt. Kevin McKenna, of the Taber/Vauxhall RCMP. “There seems to be an upswing on oil field equipment going missing.”
He said that it might be a sign of the economic times, since there’s currently less activity in the oil sector. Items stolen include flow meters, heaters and pipes, some of which was recovered after it was resold.
“Typically, when people are unemployed, there’s no money coming in, so they look for ways of making money.”
Other calls made include:
* Five impaired driving/24 hour/30 day suspensions
* One assault
* Two threats
* Three mischief complaints
* Six assists to police/other agencies/public
* Four false alarms
* Five animal calls
* Three suspicious persons/vehicles
* Three lost and found property
* One firearm act violation
* One check stop
* 14 administrative files
Cst. Tamara Dreaddy’s Enhanced Position report for November held more moderate results, While her Investigational Files as Lead Investigator revealed that her assists to other agencies were 16 out of the year’s total of 36, and had her first impaired driving file for the year, other files were relatively low, including:
* Two bylaw complaints (year to date total of 20)
* One traffic complaint/collision (YTD 17)
* Six other criminal code/statue violation (YTD 56)
* One 911 call/false alarm (YTD 12)
* One checkstop (YTD 6)
In addition, she issued four speeding, two non-moving and two intersection tickets in November, and patrolled the M.D. area 39 times.
However, the RCMP reports that there was also an increase in traffic violations compared to last year (77 to 69). Most notable were 37 non-moving violation calls, which included issues like distracted driving, tinted windshields, no mufflers and no mud flaps.
“These trucks that are jacked up four feet off the ground with no mud flaps, they’re cracking our windshields,” said Dwight Tolton, M.D. councillor. “Can you ticket them buggers? If a semi loses his mud flap, he’s fair game.”
“We actually do lay charges for lack of or inadequate mud flaps,” said McKenna.
There are no height restrictions for mud flaps on a half-ton truck, but it does need to be of adequate width and height to cover the tire and stop debris from coming up. It is required by law to have them, so if said truck comes with none, you’ll have to put them on yourself or the dealership has to.
Councillors also asked if you could charge someone with distracted diving if they were going through a drive through, after hearing about a case in a Tim Horton’s drive through in Edmonton.
“You could, because the definition of a highway is anything that the public has access to. So it includes a parking lot at Safeway – although it’s private property, it’s classed as a highway under the act because the public has access to it.”
Other traffic calls were:
* 24 speeding tickets
* Three intersection violations
* 10 other moving offences