Crimes against the people have increased over the past year, according to the April statistical extract released by the Moose Jaw Police Service. 

There were 178 cases of crimes against the person this year, as of the end of April, compared to 155 cases during this same time period last year for an increase of 14.8 per cent. 

“We're not inconsistent with other jurisdictions. This is a pattern that we're seeing. We've seen the number of reports decrease over the last couple years, and now we're seeing them come back up,” said chief Rick Bourassa. 

Bourassa noted that the statistics are hard to gauge because the last couple of years were not normal due to the pandemic. 

“Part of what we suspect is happening is that incidents that had not been reported to us are being reported to us now because people are back out again,” Bourassa said. 

This includes a 50 per cent increase in common assaults and a 68.8 per cent increase in threats. There has also been one homicide this year and six robberies compared to none last year. 

Meanwhile, crimes against property were down 6.6 per cent from 93 last year to 68 this year. 

Bourassa did note an 18.8 per cent increase in motor vehicle thefts with 19 cases this year compared to 16 last year. 

“We investigate all of those. We are able to solve many of them and we recover many of the vehicles,” Bourassa said. 

The police service also saw a 21.1 per cent increase in thefts under $5,000. It was noted, that with the rising price of fuel, they havenot seen an increase in gas theft yet, but are anticipating it could happen. 

On a positive note, break-and-enters were down 37.9 per cent including business break-and-enters down 25 per cent, residential break-and-enters down 18.6 per cent and other break-and-enters were down 69.4 per cent. 

Overall, the police have received 5,362 calls for service this year, an increase of 16.1 per cent or about 700 more calls compared to this time last year.