KAWARTHA LAKES-The number of incidents investigated by the Kawartha Lakes Police Service is at an all-time high according to 2021 stats released last week.
In 2020 KLPS responded to 14,907 incidents while in 2021 that number rose to 17,656. In 2019 there were 13,843 incidents.
“Our incidents are trending up significantly,” said Chief Mark Mitchell at the January Police Services Board meeting.
Theft under $5,000 incidents are up approximately 40% and residents have noticed this trend with items being stolen from their vehicles and yards. Break and Enters have been climbing steadily with 62 in 2019, 83 in 2020 and 104 in 2021. Read more here:https://www.kawartha411.ca/2022/01/17/lindsay-residents-set-up-community-watch-program-to-combat-nightmare-scenario-downtown/
While the number of criminal incidents remained about the same the number of drug-related incidents dropped by about 50% from 92 in 2020 to 45 in 2021. That number is more in line with 2019 when there were 57 drug incidents.
The number of assaults has been on a steady decline with 225 in 2019, 219 in 2020 and 211 in 2021.
Chief Mitchell says the community is safe but he understands the frustration felt by some.
“Overall, I think we have a very safe community and our recent survey (as well as our crime statistics) supports that.” Mitchell told Kawartha 411. “We do, however, have a significant number of people who are going increasingly frustrated with persistent property crimes that are being committed by a relatively small number of repeat offenders. I think the public information session we hosted in October demonstrated that. As discussed at that meeting, these are complex social issues that are not isolated to police, the courts, social services or housing. It will took a concerted effort from all of those areas to address these concerns.”
There were 14 public complaints lodged against Kawartha Lakes Police Service in 2021 out of more than 17,600 interactions between officers and the public.
The numbers were shared by Police Chief Mark Mitchell at the January board meeting.
Of the 14 complaints, all but two have been either screened out or investigated and found to be unsubstantiated. Five of the complaints were for discreditable conduct, six for neglect of duty and three for unlawful arrest.
Two complaints of discreditable conduct are still under investigation.
“As an overall picture it speaks volumes to the professionalism of our officers who are out on the streets.” said Inspector Kirk Robertson. “In the environment, we were in over the last two years our officers were still out there conducting the work they need to do in a professional manner
The Community Response Unit (CRU) has evolved significantly since its inception in 2016. Sgt Hagarty currently heads the CRU Unit and Constable Ashwood was added in October 2021. Constable Ashwood has assumed responsibility for the FourCast partnership that provides outreach services to individuals suffering from addictions and substance abuse related issues.
Since the FourCast partnership expanded the new team was very active in the month of December:
- Direct contact with 25 individuals for addictions outreach
- 84% were receptive to supports and receiving further visits
- 7 Individuals were provided naloxone training and support
- 3 individuals were added to the by name housing list
KLPS mental health partnership, with a crisis nurse from Ross Memorial Hospital, operated two days per week and maintained in-person visits throughout the pandemic. In 2021, the team also added the responsibility for crisis response to mental health incidents, subject to availability.
The following are some of the 2021 highlights from the mental health liaison team:
- 246 in-person visits for mental health outreach services
- 195 additional contacts by telephone
- 25 meetings or case conferences with other community services
- 41 referrals made to other service agencies
- 12 responses to crises in real time
- 5.7% of clients had interaction with the police in the 30 days following CRU contact.
Police responded to 130 overdoses in the Lindsay area in 2021, nine of which were fatal.