Roller coaster ride for CK crime last year

2022 is another busy and challenging year for Chatham-Kent County Police fighting crime.

Police have released their 2022 Operational Support Report, which shows the number of murders rose by between one and four last year. However, the number of attempted murders fell from 10 to 3, a drop of 70%.

The report also shows that from 2021, serious assaults have increased by 90%, from five to nine, and kidnappings have doubled to 14. Police said 12 of the abductions involved forced confinement, one involved human trafficking and one involved a parent violating a guardianship order.

There were several categories of crime that showed a downward trend across the city last year.

According to Chatham-Kent police, incidents of sexual assault fell from 101 to 74, a drop of 27%. Additionally, robberies dropped 33 percent from 42 to 28, weapons incidents dropped 46 percent from 69 to 37 and drug calls dropped 32 percent from 224 to 152.

The intelligence community reported seizing $332,000 worth of illicit drugs and $224,000 worth of stolen property in 35 search warrants in 2022.

Police say the drug seizures are lower than in previous years because of staffing shortages, a sharp drop in the price of illicit drugs and the takeover of investigations into illegal marijuana cultivation operations by the Ontario Provincial Police, which has made the majority of seizures in Chatham over the past few years. – Kent Police Station.

In 2022, 96 people have been arrested and 270 charges involving drug offenses and stolen property have been laid, police said. That compares with 111 arrests and 454 charges laid in 2021. 2021 was also a record year for drug seizures, with nearly $18.7 million seized.

Chatham-Kent Police also noted that they will continue to keep a close eye on street drug crime and dealers.

Meanwhile, Chatham-Kent Crime Stoppers reported a decrease in drug seizures and property recoveries from 2021 to 2022.

Statistics from Crime Stoppers show the drug was worth nearly $103,000 last year, compared with nearly $256,000 the year before.

Officials recovered just $2,000 worth of property in 2022, compared with nearly $73,000 the year before.

Arrests and charges have also decreased. Crime Stoppers said it made just 15 arrests last year, compared with 55 the year before, and 41 charges were laid based on public tip-offs, down significantly from 145 charges in 2021.

Residential and commercial burglaries continue to decline as police say they are focusing on a small group of known offenders to keep them in check.

The annual police report also revealed that Chatham-Kent registered 10 more sex offenders last year compared with 2021. There are currently 299 local sex offenders registered on provincial registries.

Police say five sex offenders will be arrested and charged in 2022 for failing to comply with sex offender registration obligations, but add that Chatham-Kent police are “consistently” in the “top tier” for compliance in Ontario “level.

Police say they can now track down local sex offenders 24 hours a day if needed.

Police also said that since 2021, there has been a slight increase in the number of child abuse cases, but a decrease in the number of arrests and charges. The annual police report for 2022 showed 12 arrests last year, compared with 28 the year before, and 60 charges compared with 76 in 2021.

The Internet Child Exploitation Squad also made 12 arrests and laid 55 charges last year, compared with 14 arrests and 48 charges the year before.

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