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OPP report: break-ins up 82% in Puslinch

by Mike Robinson

ABERFOYLE - Wellington County OPP Inspector Scott Lawson provided some interesting statistics during a recent visit to Puslinch council.

Among them was the revelation that break-ins were up by 82% in Puslinch  last year.

Lawson, who provided an update on all county-wide and local calls in 2015, said calls for service are fairly consistent across the county. He noted there were a significant number of provincial offence charges laid in 2015 - though it was slightly down from 2014.

Wellington County

Lawson said animal-vehicle collisions, which have been on the rise for the past few years, were up in 2015 - and again in  early 2016.

He noted domestic dispute calls were up in 2015 - and they  remain a challenge across the township and the county.

Puslinch Township

Lawson was pleased to see an 8% reduction in the number of calls for service in Puslinch in 2015. He explained assault calls are down by 25%.

However, he noted there are a few numbers which have increased significantly. For example, Lawson pointed to a 50% increase in complaints of threats.

“It is a bit indicative of what is happening across the county and many municipalities,” he said.

While property crimes are going down, the number of break-ins was up by 82% in the past year, Lawson noted.

And while collisions are down, “unfortunately there is an increase in the fail-to-remain and non-reportable collisions.” Lawson was pleased with a  40% decrease in injuries as a result of collisions.

“In policing we know the difference between a property damage and a collision with injuries can be milliseconds (or any number of factors).”

Key local issues

Lawson also spoke briefly on issues brought up locally.

“Speeding is an issue across our county; it is our number one call - traffic complaints.”

Lawson said a considerable amount of work has been done in Arkell, given the number of concerns raised at council and by residents of the community.

“That particular intersection draws us there because a four-way stop is a really good spot for ride checks, distracted driving and speeding.”

Lawson added, “We all know there is a significant amount of traffic on Brock Road (former Highway 6). We are aware of the traffic volume and speeds; it is definitely a major route in and out of the city and it is getting busier by the day.” He noted the OPP detachment has undertaken Speed Spy analysis of traffic on Concession 4.

He said readers of the Advertiser may have noticed the number of speeding and racing charges on the Hanlon Expressway  and “a lot of those are ... here in Puslinch.”

Lawson concluded, “We continue to battle some quite-high speeds,” and there have been vehicle seizures based on those speeds.

Councillor Wayne Stokley said he is concerned about the 82% increase in break-ins and asked if this was a common rural problem.

Lawson said break-ins are a crime of opportunity.

“When you have farms with long laneways and it is dark with unlit concession roads ... all those things contribute.”

He stressed, “People can help us help them by locking their facilities. If we make it easy for burglars, then they will clearly do something. If they have to spend time, unlocking, cutting etc., they are going to head to the next location.”

When councillor Susan Fielding asked if there were areas of the township most affected, Lawson responded the OPP is looking into that.

“We are really into the analytics ... especially in our detachment,” he said.


April 8, 2016


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