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Southgate Police Services Board hears calls are rising in 2021


September 29, 2021
By Canadian Press / Local Journalism Initiative

Sept. 28, 2021 – Calls for service are trending up overall in Southgate and all of Grey County, the detachment commander told Southgate Police Services Board last week.

Mentioned at a planning meeting the same week was a letter from a resident about concerns with crime at Dundalk, and it is being forwarded to the next Police Services Board meeting.

Detachment Commander Debra Anderson on Sept. 21 addressed the report which gave numbers for Southgate and Grey County in different crime categories.

False alarms were included (home or business) as they do require attendance with police travelling a distance to travel only to find it’s false. Some jurisdictions charge the alarm holder for false alarms, she noted.

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In discussion, the committee decided to have a bylaw brought forward for consideration to introduce fines.

Overall, the calls to OPP in 2020 for the total year were 1,900 and by the end of August, 2021, the year to date number was just under 1,800.

She said that property crime in Southgate is either on par for the past or dropping, depending on the category. There were 37 break and enter calls in 2020, and 29 by the end of August in 2021 in the township. There were 19 car theft reports in 2021 and eight by the end of August.

Drug investigations seem to have plateaued at the moment in Southgate she said. The Street Crime Unit has been having a positive influence, she said.

Domestic disputes are trending up, which is true in Southgate as well as other areas, she said.

She said that Grey-Bruce is looking for applicants to its auxiliary program, with information available on the website.

The local detachment is the only one in West Region that doesn’t have its own clinician to be part of its team responding to mental health. They are looking for grants to support that help.

In Wellington, which has an “impact” team with a clinician, it has reduced by 30 per cent the number apprehended under the Mental Health Act. When people are apprehended, two police officers have to guard that patient until that bed is available over two to three days.

That method is neither a good use of resources nor the best care for the patient, she said.

She highlighted some incidents which were recognized by higher levels of the OPP: a $12 million cannabis grow operation taken down on June 30 in the Municipality of Meaford. Another was for two constables who apprehended a suspect after a three-day search for a suspect in a domestic assault case.


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