OPP report: Mapleton a ‘very safe’ place to live

Mary­Louise Kearns says Mapleton is “a very safe community” and “a pleasure to police.”

As acting Staff Sergeant of the county OPP, she came to council last week to provide a report on the township’s crime statistics for 2008.

“You guys are our quietest people,” Kearns told council.

Last year, police responded to 1,250 calls in Mapleton, by far the lowest volume for any of the seven lower tier municipalities in the county.

The 2008 call volume was  almost identical to the volume in 2007 (1,241).

Several crimes were down significantly last year, including:

– traffic complaints, down 13% from 124 to 108;

– mischief, down 21% from 33 to 26;

– assaults, down 22% from 18 to 14; and

– liquor and drug related in­cidents, down 29% from 42 to 30.

Total motor vehicle collisions in the township were down about 6%, from 220 to 207. Reportable accidents were down 15%, from 450 to 384, and  the number of people injured in local accidents was down 41%, from 123 to 72.

But it was not all good News. Domestic disturbance calls doubled last year, from five to ten, which Kearns said seems to be the trend across the county, “perhaps because of some of the pressures of the day.”

Break and enters and thefts under $5,000 were up by 37%, while alarm calls were up 31%. Interestingly, there were two police pursuits last year, while there were none in 2007.

Overall, police logged 229 hours of RIDE programs in Mapleton – 35.5 in Drayton, 149.5 in former Maryborough township, and 44 in the former Peel township.

OPP foot patrol hours totaled 273 last year, with the majority in Drayton (201), 58.5 in Maryborough and 13.5 in Peel.

Councillor Jim Curry asked what could be done to improve safety at several troublesome intersections, including at County Roads 8 and 12. Kearns replied problems could be linked to speed.

She said she would forward the concern to the OPP traffic management group, and noted increased police presence may help.

Councillor Bruce Whale asked who is in charge of addressing road safety on county roads. Kearns said the county’s road staff would fix any problems, although police do often provide statistics on accidents to help staff make decisions.