The year is not over yet, but the St. Thomas Police Service (STPS) says it is on track for another record-breaking year for number of reported incidents.
At the pace calls are coming in, the station is estimating 20,000 reports by the end of year, which would break last year’s record of 18,846.
“Heavy call volume seems to be the typical new norm moving forward,” said Tanya Calvert, corporate communications coordinator for the St. Thomas Police Service.
“It’s rare that we don’t have a heavy call volume during a 24-hour period anymore.”
Between April 1 and Sept. 1, STPS officers responded to 10,825 incidents, with Calvert estimating as of October they are already at a total of 16,000 for the whole year.
Since the start of April, 1,060 arrests have been made, 1,121 Criminal Code charges have been laid, 35 drug related charges have been laid, and police have also issued 60 arrest warrants.
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Calvert said although there are increases in every type of call to which they respond, but an increase in social disorders could also be a factor.
“We do have an increase in calls related to social disorders and what we mean by that is homelessness, addiction, poverty, and mental health-related issues,” Calvert said. “So that could be part and parcel of the increase.
“Some of the issues we are facing are not police-specific, so it takes a community to address these concerns.”
The community, she added, has already started addressing the issue by doing things like extending the hours at the local homeless shelter to provide more warmth during the lead up to winter.
Despite an increase in calls, the number of vehicle collisions have dropped by more than half compared to last year. So far this year police have responded to 23 collisions compared to last year’s total of 61.
“[This] is also in direct reflection of the increased patrols by the traffic units themselves,” said Calvert.
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