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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

EPSB resumes to discuss top calls for service in June and July

by Sylene Argent

After a summer break from regular meetings, members of the Essex Police Services Board (EPSB) met virtually last Thursday afternoon to discuss top calls for service for the months of June and July in the Town of Essex.

  In looking at the month of June, Sergeant Todd Lavigne noted that when it comes to top calls for service, traffic enforcement remains at the top, due largely to the members of the EPSB telling him where all the problem areas are, via concerns from community members.

  “You guys give me a lot of areas to hit and I move that radar trailer machine quite a bit,” Lavigne said, adding, as a result there were 34 traffic enforcement initiatives or enforcements in June. In addition, there were 28 traffic complaints, of which around half were concerns for speeding. Some of the other general complaints included concerns about driving ability, such as rolling through stop signs. 

  There were 23 calls for service in June regarding bylaw complaints, which included barking or off-leash dogs, parking matters, and hookahs being used down at the beach. There were also 21 calls for community service matters. Lavigne explained these were self-generating occurrences, including where the officers go for a walk in downtown areas to ensure everything is locked up.

  In June, there were 20 motor vehicle and 19 neighbour dispute calls for service in June. Many of the neighbour disputes included noise complaints, long-standing disputes about water run-off or placement of grass clippings. There were also 18 alarms, the majority of which were at businesses. There were also several property calls regarding found or lost wallets or other items.

  There were 16 calls for service in June for well-being checks. This typically does not make the top ten list, but is becoming another hot call for service, Lavigne explained. This includes when an out-of-town family member cannot get in touch with a loved one. He believes four of those calls were individuals who ended up requiring assistance.

  There were 15 breach of peace calls for service in June. Laving said 90 percent were domestic standbys, such as when a couple is going through a divorce and things are not amicable. Police ensure everything remains cordial.   

  In June, there was an increase of 94 calls to the OPP in Essex, compared to June of 2020. He added there is an average of 50 to 100 calls in area policed municipalities. This is equivalent to almost what the numbers were pre-COVID.

  Also in June, there were four violent crime instances, compared to ten in June 2020. These are domestic-related occurrences, which can include a push or shove, or a direct assault.

  There were 13 property crime-related instances in June, which was half from that time last year. This includes stolen property and break and enters. He was happy with the decrease and credited the traffic initiatives and foot patrol hours OPP officers put in.

  There were 21 motor vehicle collisions in June, which is consistent with previous years. There were no fatalities reported in that time period. There were no impaired and exceed offences or administrative drivers license suspensions in June in Essex.  

  There were five Criminal Code/YCJA Charges in June, compared to 25 in June of 2020 and 35 in June of 2019. There were also zero drug charges.

  Also in June in Essex, there were 36 provincial offence charges, which was lower than the previous two-years, and 61 traffic stop charges, which was constant with the previous two-years.

  There were seven mental health response team calls, compared to 12 in June of 2020 and 16 in June of 2010. Lavigne did not have a reason why that was, but noted around half of the well-being checks could have been tacked on to this component, which could possibly explain the difference.  

In June, Essex was at the top of area OPP policed municipalities when it came to RIDE programs and foot patrols.

  Sergeant Pauline Steele presented the July policing data to the members of the EPSB.

  She noted in July, top calls for service included 24 calls for each property related and traffic complaints. Neighbour disputes and alarms had 23 calls each, there were 21 motor vehicle collisions, 19 mental health calls, 17 bylaw complaints, and 14 traffic enforcement incidents, which included a commercial motor vehicle joint force inspection on Fairview on July 5 that resulted in 14 charges. There were also 13 community service issues and 12 domestic situations.

  In total, there were 469 calls for OPP assistance, compared to 396 in July of last year and 630 in that month of 2019.

  There were five violent crime instances in July, compared to two in July of 2020 and 10 in July of 2019.  

  There were 17 property crime instances in Essex in July, compared to 19 in July of 2020 and 31 in July of 2019.

  There was one exceed and impaired offence in July in Essex and one drivers’ license suspension.

  There were 17 Criminal Code/YCJA Charges in July, compared to four the previous July and 50 in July 2019.

  There were 30 provincial offence charges, which was lower than the previous two-years, and 59 traffic stop charges, which was also much lower than the previous two-years.

  In July, there was an increase in mental health calls with 20 calls for service, compared to 16 in July of 2020 and 11 in July 2019.

  Police conducted three RIDE programs and 97 foot patrol hours in Essex in July.  

  OPP Detachment Commander, Inspector Glenn Miller, said in the last little while, there have been a number of counterfeiting incidents taking place across Essex County. He said these individuals are extremely transient.

  “We would like to show our appreciation, certainly, to members of your community, both locally and broadly, that continue to report suspicious activity to the OPP. As a result of that collaboration that exists in working with our community members, we are able to bring a lot of these cases of these particular investigations to a successful conclusion,” Miller said.

  He added there continues to be catalytic converter thefts. Certainly not as much as previously experienced. These instances continue to be a target of opportunity for those individuals who are cashing in on that. 

At an upcoming Essex Police Services Board Meeting, Miller said a representative from the Windsor-Essex Child and Youth Advocacy Centre will attend to define the importance placed on victims of crime. In those particular cases, it is young children. Miller noted officers continue to be busy in dealing with various cases of sexual assault and domestic violence.

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