Puslinch crime down 15% since ’04: OPP report

Over the last five years, the crime rate in Puslinch Township has fallen by 15%.

“We’re going in the right direction,” acting OPP staff sergeant John Kummer told council on May 20.

In 2004 there were 2,345 crimes reported in the municipality, compared with just 1,987 in 2008 – which  ranked as the second lowest total in the county.

Puslinch and Centre Wellington were the only two municipalities that saw a decrease in calls last year.

Fraud calls in the township were down 77% last year, from 13 to three; “false-alarm” 911 calls were down 37% from 93 to 59; and thefts under $5,000 were down 14% from 148 to 127.

However, break and enters were up by 50% from 24 to 36, motor vehicle thefts were up 37% from 27 to 37, and liquor and drug incidents were up 20% from 25 to 30.

All other crimes remained fairly steady in both 2007 and 2008.

Kummer was happy to point out to council that the OPP has made several arrests this year in connection with 2008 thefts in the area.

He said the crime rate remains pretty steady per capita across the county, although a few individuals on a  crime spree can skew the numbers somewhat.

Councillor Don McKay asked if police work with local social service groups and if they expected an increase in criminal activity due to the current economic downturn.

“We do anticipate that,” Kummer said, adding the OPP continues to work closely with social service groups, particularly those dealing with mental illness.

Councillor Matthew Bulmer asked if it was possible to get crime statistics on the Aberfoyle corridor alone.

Kummer replied the information may be available through the Ministry of Transportation or local courts, but it is very hard for police to track.

Councillors thanked Kummer for the work the OPP does in the township, and for its representation on the township’s Community Oriented Policing (COP) committee.