More traffic fatalities, robberies and drug charges, but also more major drug and property arrests highlighted last year for the Chatham-Kent police.
The Chatham-Kent Police Services Board received a copy of the 2017 Annual Report from Chief Gary Conn at a meeting recently, outlining the activities of each branch of the service over the previous year.
Most significant in the report, which can be found on the CKPS website, is an increase in traffic fatalities in 2017 – from seven in 2016 to 15 – that includes three alcohol-involved deaths.
The total vehicle collisions reported in 2017 were 2,578 with the top five intersections with the most accidents listed as Keil Drive at Richmond Street, Lacroix Street at Richmond, Grand Avenue at Lacroix, McNaughton Avenue West at Sandys Street and McNaughton Avenue at St. Clair Street.
Under Use-of-Force statistics, officers had no incidents of discharging their firearm to defend themselves, but incidents of drawing a firearm to effect arrest increased from 27 in 2016 to 44 in 2017. A taser was deployed 11 times, pepper spray five times and officers used their firearm 10 times to humanely destroy an injured animal.
In the Crime Snapshot statistics, robbery, drugs, break and enter to residences and vehicle theft topped the increase list, with robberies going up 190 per cent. Impaired driving was also up slightly (seven per cent) over the previous year. Arson, criminal harassment and aggravated assaults were down in 2017.
The increase in arrests for major drug and property crimes went from 51 to 62, including an increase in the value of marijuana plants seized and cash seized from drug investigations.
“In January and February, the drug unit began to run parallel projects targeting drug traffickers who were the main sources transporting street drugs to our community. One case involved three accused parties who were the main suppliers to Chatham,” the report states. “These accused were living out of town in the Sarnia area to bring less attention to themselves. When intercepted, they were in possession of over $98,000 worth of cocaine, meth and marijuana.”
The report also states that child abuse incidents decreased slightly to 61 from 64 in 2016, and there are currently 235 registered male sex offenders in Chatham-Kent, and no females registered.
“During 2017, five offenders were arrested and/or charged for failing to comply with their Sex Offender Registry registration or reporting obligations,” the report noted. “Currently no offenders are non-compliant.”
In a message from the chief, Conn said new services in response to the increase in property crimes such as the Bicycle and Surveillance Camera registries are helping to increase the chances stolen bicycles can be identified and returned their owners, and giving police access to camera footage to help them solve crimes.
The report can be found at www.ckpolice.com.