During a Creston town council meeting, RCMP S/Sgt. Brandon Buliziuk presented the RCMP calls for service numbers for 2022, showing a slight decrease in calls from rural areas, with a rise in calls from within town limits.
Buliziuk says it’s not a pattern, but possibly a specific group moving within town limits.
“[Calls] from rural areas had been increasing in the 1990s, 2000s, and 2020s, so with the sudden decrease this year, we’ve yet to dial-in to what that’s necessarily attributed to,” said Buliziuk.
“But it may be in part to the primary group that we’ve been trying to address the activities of residing within the municipality itself now.”
Additionally, calls for services throughout the past few years have seen a considerable spike in mental health checks.
The biggest spikes were seen during the height of the pandemic, something Buliziuk says could be related.
“I think it’s safe to say there was likely an increase due to what we went through as a society in general with COVID and the challenges that arose through that. We do deal with a lot of mental health crisis type situations, some which are dealt with quite quickly and are just a check of well-being or a simple assist on our side. Others are apprehensions under the Mental Health Act. And those are rather time-consuming and involve multiple agencies to effectively handle them.”
A breakdown of the numbers shows a rise in violent offences, with the most being assault.
“It’s an increase certainly. It is a number that is reasonably on par with the 2020 numbers, but certainly an increase both in the rural area and within the municipality 2022 when it comes to violent offenses,” said Buliziuk.
In non-violent offences, most were auto theft, mischief, and theft under $5,000. Buliziuk says there are ways to prevent that.
“Some of the best ways to avoid auto theft are just taking that extra time to secure your vehicle and keep valuables out of sight. Alarm systems obviously are beneficial. The audible type alarms often draw attention to the area, especially in quiet, smaller communities, which often deter the individuals that are attempting the theft of the vehicle and will put the run on them.”
All in all, Buliziuk says it’s been a pleasure working with the Creston detachment.
“It’s an honor to be here and to get to lead this group of members. [They are] some of the most passionate and dedicated that I’ve ever worked with. You know, through the pandemic, through resource pressures, through all sorts of challenges, these folks come to work every day with a positive attitude and a smile on their faces and work extremely hard to keep the Valley safe.”
“I couldn’t be more proud of them.”