Violent crime down in Puslinch

OPP Inspector Scott Smith had some positive News for Puslinch council last week.

“Violent crime is down, which is always a good thing,” Smith told council March 16.

The OPP received 23 calls for violent crimes last year, down slightly from the three-year average of 27. Included in the total are six assault calls (down over 50% from the three-year average of 13) and one sexual assault (down from two).

Impaired driving calls were down 25% (from 16 to 12) and property crime calls were down 5% (from 228 to 216), but the majority of calls remained pretty steady, Smith said.

He told council he is pleased the township’s long-standing Community Oriented Policing (COP) committee is talking about domestic calls, of which there were 20 last year (the three-year average is 19).

Smith also lauded the COP committee and its Road Watch program introduced last year.

“The rest of the county is jealous – they want it,” Smith said, noting the long-term goal is to have similar programs throughout Wellington. Smith then stressed the importance of crime prevention.

“For crime to occur, you must have a suitable place, a suitable target, and a willing offender come together,” he said noting residents have significant control over at least one of those variables.

Councillors thanked Smith for the presentation and noted the OPP do a good job in Puslinch, as evidence by the statistics.

Mayor Dennis Lever agreed and said considering Puslinch Township constitutes about 8% of the county population, he is always interested in Puslinch crimes that represent more than 8% of the county total.

For 2010, those crimes include: total calls (9%), break and enters (9%), theft from vehicles (10%) and theft under $5,000 (14%). Other Puslinch crimes account for zero to 5% of the county total.