Nova Scotia RCMP say highway traffic offences are on the rise in Victoria County, Cape Breton, but property and personal crimes are down, and municipal officials say that’s just fine with them.
Cpl. Shaun Coady recently presented county councillors with a comparison of crime statistics from 2017 to 2019 showing highway traffic tickets and warnings had more than doubled, while vehicle defect notices had tripled.
The numbers also showed property crimes — such as break-ins and thefts — and personal crimes such as assault, are down significantly.
Coady said the trends align with the RCMP’s national and local priorities.
“I don’t know that it’s just so much a luck situation as directly correlated to the increase in presence of the RCMP,” he said.
The increase in traffic offences, specifically, is a direct result of that, Coady said.
Traffic volume, targets cited
“I think a lot of that can just be attested to obviously traffic volume, but members in the county are more dedicated to being out on the roads doing that enforcement piece and it seems to be that the more we do, the more positive results we have.”
The drop in personal and property crimes is also likely a result of targeted efforts, he said, but that conclusion is less certain for those types of crimes.
“They’re somewhat difficult to target, however, we’ve been trying to increase the awareness and education related to them,” Coady said.
“More education toward having more people lock their homes, lock their sheds and take precautions.”
Victoria County Warden Bruce Morrison said the numbers are about what council expected.
“I don’t know if it’s a surprise or not,” he said. “We’re trending in the right way as far as property-related crimes and crimes against persons. It’s certainly good to see that they are reducing.”
Morrison also said the increase in traffic offences is welcome, because of the major highways that cut through the county.
“We have a busy section of Trans-Canada Highway,” he said. “We have a lot of seasonal traffic due to tourism traffic in the summer.”
Morrison said the county council regularly meets with RCMP and was happy to get the latest report, which provided a broader context compared to semi-annual reports.
“We’re pleased with the increase in their stats on the highway issues and pleased that the property-related crimes and crimes against persons are trending down,” the warden said.
“It kind of indicates to us that we live in a safe county.”
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