CBRM Deputy Mayor Eldon MacDonald and Mayor Cecil Clarke, pictured in the front row, were joined by some of the municipality’s most senior police officers at Tuesday’s police commission meeting in the Sydney council chambers. Chief Peter McIsaac presented statistics that indicate Cape Breton crime is on the decline.
©DAVID JALA/CAPE BRETON POST
SYDNEY, N.S. — Serious crime is down in Cape Breton, according to statistics unveiled during a police commission meeting on Tuesday in Sydney.
The figures, presented by Cape Breton Regional Police Service Chief Peter McIsaac, indicate that crime severity (measured by seriousness) in the municipality has decreased by 22 per cent since 2015.
Statistics also reflect a 15 per cent decrease in the police-reported crime rate. Violent crime in the CBRM dropped 17 per cent, while property crime was down 14 per cent.
“I’m very, very proud of the officers who do tremendous work in the community every day and the crime stats reflect part of what we do here, but I can tell you right now that we live in a very safe and healthy community and I hope that trend continues,” said McIsaac, who noted that the figures were better than both the provincial and national averages.
He also said it is important to acknowledge that policing is now much different from it was in the past.
“Police have gone from the agency of last resort to the social agency of first choice and are expected to be first responders on just about anything and everything that happens in our community,” said McIsaac.
The statistics, gleaned from the Canadian Centre of Justice, also noted an increase of 4.8 per cent in the weighted clearance rate (the proportion of crime — amount and severity — of crime solved by police) of the CBRPS.
Meanwhile, divisional statistics show that municipal police responded to 13,212 calls from June 1 to Aug. 31. Of those, 5,384 were classified as reportable, while the others were noted as being dismissed for any number of reasons.
Central Division responded to 6,229 calls, while East Division answered 4,139 and North Division had 2,844 calls.
Selected CBRM Crime Statistics
(June, July, August)
• Street Crime/Drug Unit laid 75 charges, seized $219,024 worth of drugs and $18,206 cash
• Traffic Safety Unit enforced 160 MVA charges, including 10 cell phone usage charges
• K-9 Unit responded to 304 calls and laid 41 charges
• Community Safety Enforcement Unit worked on 345 assignments and laid 80 charges
• Major Crime/Domestic Violence Unit began 30 new investigations and laid 44 criminal charges, executed 30 search warrants and laid 349 domestic-related charges
• Internet Child Exploitation Unit/Computer Forensic Unit worked on 30 investigations including incidents of sexual exploitation, child pornography and Internet luring