Police, mayor urge residents to contact OPP upon witnessing crimes

Wellington County OPP statistics show this town is one of the county’s  safest communities in which to live.

However, more can be done to reduce crime, particular mischief and drugs, council members agreed after receiving the 2011 OPP crime report from staff sergeant Susan Gray.

“Minto is a safe community to live in,” Gray told council at its May 1 meeting.

In all police registered 2,915 calls in Minto last year, about 10 percent of the total call throughout the county.

Gray said the biggest concern police have are with non-emergency 911 calls.

“The biggest area of concern is the 911 misdials,” she said of cell phones with the automatic dial feature inadvertently activated by users.

“The 946 false alarms require that two officers must attend and it could take two hours. It does take away from proactive policing.”

Property crime, including break and enters, thefts from motor  vehicles, stolen vehicles and mischief accounted for 252 of the Minto calls.

Despite the number of property crimes, Gray credited efforts by the Minto community policing committee, which organizes dances for young   people and supports anti-crime programs, with helping to keep the numbers down and making the public aware.

Coupled with an increase in officer foot patrols, auto thefts and mischief is down, she added.

Seventy-five percent of the calls were in Minto’s largest community, Palmerston.

“It’s the larger population,” Gray said of the higher statistics in that community. The force still has a full-time officer at the local high school.

Councillor Ron Elliott said the majority of incidents are in the Lions Park in Palmerston.

“I live right beside the park and because I live in Palmerston I get a lot of calls about vandalism in the park. They’re lighting fires and they threw a rock through the window of a house,” he said of recent incidents.

Elliott said he has heard of drugs also being sold. “There’s lots of drugs, it’s rampant,” he added. “I know it’s difficult (for police) because many of them (drug dealers) are youth. The police take the youth away and the next day they’re on the street doing the same thing. I wonder what we as a community can   do?”

Gray suggested anyone seeing a drug deal contact police.

“If anyone sees a sale call police and give a good description,” she said.

Mayor George Bridge agreed, saying the community has to become more “proactive” in reporting crimes.