About a dozen residents attended a public meeting with Creighton RCMP members at the Creighton Community Centre on May 1.
Sgt. Sean McPhee began proceedings with a rundown of property crime in the Creighton area, saying the numbers have remained low and are on pace to drop this year.
“The issue of property crime is coming down a lot. We’ve done a lot to remove our very well-known people in this town who do most of the damage,” said McPhee.
“In 2016, we had 20 reports of theft and 10 stolen vehicles. In 2017, we had 10 thefts and 11 stolen vehicles. Last year, 21 thefts, five vehicles, and so far this year, we have four thefts and no stolen vehicles.”
According to McPhee, the reason for the lower numbers in 2019 is because the detachment has honed in on habitual offenders and limited their ability to commit crimes.
“We know who it is. It’s not a secret to us who’s doing the damage and we’ve done a lot to target them. They don’t get any free passes,” he said.
When asked about public intoxication, McPhee said the detachment maintains a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to mischief and related issues.
“That’s stayed kind of consistent,” noted McPhee. “That being said, in Creighton, we don’t give any free passes. If you’re a drunk and you’re going to take a trip, we’re going to make it so that you don’t want to be drunk in public in Creighton. There will be consequences.”
McPhee emphasized that people should call police whenever they feel imminently scared, adding that weekend and after-hours calls will be sent through the provincial dispatch centre in Regina before going to officers in Creighton.
“If you’re scared, call. That’s what we do. We get paid, every two weeks, to do this. Why would you not call?” he said.
Some members of the public brought up new concerns, including quads and snowmobiles speeding down residential streets.
Bonnie Tait discussed the situation on her street near Creighton Community School, mentioning that “kids” were often ripping through the neighbourhood near the school at high speed.
“There’s little kids coming out of the houses and the school there. Somebody’s going to get it,” she said.
“If we see it, then we deal with it. If we don’t see it, it’s hard. Young kids have the access to the equipment and young kids do stupid things,” McPhee said.
Donna Lundquist, also of Creighton, had concerns about hypodermic needles in the community. Someone dropped what she suspected were drug needles in her trash one day.
“Somebody was using our garbage can as a drop site, because there were needles in it. There was a capsule in it, an oxycodone capsule,” she said.
“I was completely stunned. That’s not in my world and I didn’t know what to do with them.”
There are two drop boxes in Creighton; one located at the town office and one at the provincial health building. McPhee said the issue of abandoned syringes is becoming more common, along with the spread of prescription drug and intravenous drug use.
“That’s a growing concern in almost every town now. The issue of needles and intravenous drugs is growing, be it through prescription drugs or street drugs. It’s growing. There’s minimal supports for that in the North,” he said.
McPhee also provided tips to cut back on crime, such as keeping properties clean and avoid having shadows; always locking homes and cars at night; and avoiding the storage of keys in vehicles.
“The best thing you can do, as a homeowner, is trim up your undergrowth. [Offenders] can hide easily. They can lurk around and when we come looking for them, they can duck into those spots and just disappear. For us and the town, if we can limit that kind of stuff, it makes the town less of a target. Most places that are hit are targets of opportunity,” he said.
“With stolen vehicles, the keys are always sitting in the vehicle. Lock your vehicle, take the keys out, put your wallet in your pocket in your house. Don’t leave your wallet in the car. For your home, lock your doors. It’s not 1970 anymore. It’s a whole new world and the rules have changed. If we can’t adapt to the new world, then we become victims.”