The Prince Albert Police Service is looking ahead in 2020 and what we aim to achieve in the new year, while still acknowledging the crime that was recorded in the previous year. Statistics for 2019 show an increase in violent crime in our community, and the committed staff of the police service continue to work to prevent crimes against persons and property to keep local residents safe.
Year-end statistics for 2019 highlight incidents that include the tragic loss of life for our community. Our police service has recorded six homicides and six attempted murders over the last year, along with a rise in assaults, robberies, and sexual violations. Crimes against property, including break and enters to residences and outbuildings, was also up in a number of areas.
Prince Albert Police Chief Jon Bergen acknowledges the increase in violent crime and property-related offences over the past year and says the police service will continue targeting those responsible for illegal activity, while working with the community in a proactive and positive way.
“This past year has been a challenging one for our police service and our community,” Chief Bergen said. “Tragically, six people lost their lives in our community in 2019, and others have suffered physical and emotional traumas that have led them to question their safety. Prince Albert is our community and our home, and this is not how we want residents and visitors to feel.”
Prince Albert Police officers attended more than 37,000 calls for service in 2019, a number that is more commonly seen in communities with a population of 100,000 people.
“Our members are challenged with higher than average calls, but we remain dedicated in our work and committed to public safety,” Chief Bergen said. “Our members are being asked to do more, and respond to more calls, than other comparative communities of similar size due to the demands for policing services in Prince Albert.”
Prince Albert’s challenges are similar to those seen in other communities that are also seeing higher numbers of firearms, drugs and violence. Local officers are tasked with responding to a variety of calls every day, many of which are non-criminal in nature, such as those relating to mental health crises and addictions, and other issues often driven by poverty.
“As a police service, we continue to participate on numerous boards and committees aimed at finding solutions to the root causes of crime and the various factors that lead to criminal activity,” Chief Bergen added. “We will continue to work proactively as we enter a new year and we appreciate the support and confidence from our local residents, who regularly keep us informed about suspicious activity in their neighbourhoods.”