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Crime rate down at third quarter pole, but arson, robberies tick upward

Posted November 8, 2018

Nottawasaga OPP responded to 844 reports of violent, property, and drug cimes through the first nine months of 2018, down from 917 or approximately eight per cent over the same period last year.

There were 571 property crimes through to Sept. 30, a decrease of 8.8 per cent. But that's skewed by the number of suspected arsons which jumped to 16, an increase from two the year before.

OPP Staff Sgt. Brian Humber told Free Press Online the increase in arson reports are related to "a serial garbage can arsonist working in the south end (Tottenham) of our area."

"We were working on persons of interest when all of a sudden they stopped. There were no injuries and property damage was isolated to garbage cans," said Staff Sgt Humber via email. "No one is in custody."

The other uptick was in theft under $5,000 which climbed to 220 from 204 the year before, a 7.8 per cent increase.

Violent crimes reported dropped to 212, a 2.3 per cent decrease. Bucking the trend were the number of robberies, which increased from four the year before to 10.

"Five were retail businesses spread out throughout our areas. Two have had arrests made and three are still on-going investigations. No injuries reported in those," said Staff Sgt. Humber. "The other 5 were "street" type confrontations. One of which the victim was cooperative and charges were laid. The others are still on-going investigations. Again, these were spread out throughout the detachment areas."

The number of drug crimes dropped to 61, down from 74 or 17.6 per cent.

On the roads, there were 728 motor vehicle collisions, down from 805 or 9.6 per cent. Of those, five were fatal, an increase from three the year before.

As to the "big four" traffic enforcement areas, impaired driving charges went from 103 to 86, a drop of 16.5 per cent while. There were 154 distracted driving charges an incrase of 97 per cent, while 3,837 speeding charges were issued, a 27 per cent increase. Seat belt infractions climbed to 95, a 14.5 per cent hike.

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All stories, unless otherwise noted,
by Tony Veltri