Greetings from the South District! I wish I could tell you business has been slow for us since my last report in March. Generally speaking, in our line of work when something slows down, something else picks up. The trick for us, as in any business, is to find a balance between demands and resources.
The first week in April brought a string of six garbage fire incidents in Al Ritchie, all arson related and in close proximity to each other. The fires were in the same general area where garbage fires occurred the previous two or three weeks. All the fires occurred in the evening. Police and the Regina Fire Dept. worked together to coordinate information on who might be responsible in an effort to bring this dangerous behaviour to a stop. If you have any information on these or any other arson related fires please call either Police or Fire. If you wish to report anonymously, you may call Crime Stoppers.
The Regina Fire and Protective Services reported good news in April. As of April, 2010, no one had been killed in a fire in Regina in two years. Further, over the last decade, no children were killed in fires – truly significant in comparison to the ’80s and ’90s when 30% of all fire fatalities in Regina were children. Two further points of significance were recognized:
1. Overall, Regina’s fire fatalities have steadily and consistently decreased over the years, as seen in these average annual fatality rates during the following decades:
· 1970s: 6 fatalities per year
· 1980s: 3 fatalities per year
· 1990s: 4 fatalities per year
· 2000s: 1 fatality per year
2. The fatality rates for children and youth have decreased significantly and consistently, as seen in these average annual fatality rates during the following decades:
· 1980s: 30 per cent of fatalities were children (8 of 27 fatalities)
· 1990s: 32 per cent of fatalities were children (12 of 38 fatalities)
· 2000s: no child fatalities (0 of 13 fatalities)
These numbers – which reflect many lives saved – are the result of many years of hard work and public education by many passionate and caring people.
Regina Fire and Protective Services acknowledged that members of the Keeping Our Community Safe Coalition are instrumental in the development and delivery of educational programming that is such a large part of the decline in fire-related fatalities.
Among other things, KOCS members work at making environmental changes aimed at reducing the fire risk in our communities. They have lobbied government to provide essential services for the safety of students and their families. KOCS believes by working together we will be able to provide a safer environment for the children in our communities. We will also be able to motivate and empower families by providing them with the information and encouragement they need to prevent fires in the first place, and to escape safely in the event fire does occur.
On April 26th a rash of robberies, some of which occurred in South District, were committed by 4 individuals driving a stolen car. Through the efforts of Patrol officers, the Service Centres and Criminal Investigations Division, the criminals were caught and charged with numerous offences including robbery, weapons offences, possession of stolen property, breach, impaired driving, exceed .08 and obstruction.
As you can imagine, we get many traffic complaints during the year, mostly to do with speeding. On April 28th, we, along with our SGI partner, conducted a Traffic Project. It was very successful and resulted in numerous tickets and inspection tickets being handed out, vehicles towed, and full SGI Light Vehicle Inspections issued. This is an example of just one of the many initiatives we run throughout the year in an effort to keep our streets safer and ensure the vehicles on them are road worthy.
In addition to our regular duties, the following is a list of areas we have directed attention to, at your request:
Ø In May we have received several reports from residents of Wascana View that Wascana Circle Dr. had become a popular drag strip. Indeed a vehicle did lose control and collide with a brick wall in that area. A source advised us invitations to race were being posted on Facebook. The instigators of the races appeared to be young residents of the area.
Ø In early June we noticed an increase in the number of intoxicated persons gathering in Central Park in the 22 block Scarth St. As well as having patrol members direct attention we asked the bike patrol members to ride through the park on dayshift. Although it wasn’t a big problem, we wanted to create a proactive presence in order to keep the issue from growing, as it’s not unusual for this park to see this type of activity in summer.
Ø In June we received reports youth were gathering behind the old fire hall and lighting fires very close to a storage shed in the area of the Wascana Community Gardens off Grant Rd. and Wascana Parkway. The line of sight of the shed is hidden from the street and required members to drive in behind to get clear view of the area. The time of concern was after 10:00 p.m.
Ø In June we received a report of teens gathering behind Henry Braun School, drinking, leaving cans, bottles and other refuse behind and starting a fire on one occasion. The complainant had done what could be done. The School was contacted and was in touch with their private security company, who was also to direct attention. The School put up gates so kids couldn’t drive behind the school; however, not to be deterred, they began parking and walking in. Graffiti is now being left behind. In addition to Patrol, our summer Park Patrol members will direct attention to this area.
Ø An increase in thefts, mischiefs and other nuisance crimes was identified around Greer Court. We are making an effort to provide more visibility in this area, as well, to deter these types of incidents.
Ø The Rugby Club reported in increase in thefts from autos in their parking lot and an attempt break-in to their club House. This is an issue every summer, especially when cars are left overnight in the parking lot. We are in touch with the club and to their credit they do their part by ensuring their lot is well lit and their premises alarmed.
Ø Glen Cairn has recently been the target of some mischiefs around the Fleet St. and Coleman Cres. area. We have a suspect vehicle description on these incidents. The teen occupants of the vehicle were observed committing mischiefs in North District as well. We have also been directing attention in the area of Strathmore Place in Glen Cairn regarding mischiefs and thefts from vehicles.
Officers responded to a call of a male banging on doors and going through cars on Grant Rd. K-9 members tracked and located the male in a home on Grant Rd. The male had gained entry into the garage via an unlocked man door. Entry was then gained into the house through an unlocked door to the interior. The home owner was in bed sleeping when the police showed up and arrested the accused. I can only imagine what a start it must have been to wake up to a criminal, the police and a (likely excited and barking) dog in their house. I tell you this true story to lead into our Crime Prevention Tips for spring and summer that were released by our Media Section at the end of May. The release read as follows:
The Regina Police Service is asking Regina residents to take a critical look at their homes, properties and personal safety practices with the goal of preventing crime in
our neighbourhoods this spring and summer.
At the recent meeting of the Regina Board of Police Commissioners, the year-to-date
statistics presented showed an increase in some property crimes, particularly theft under $5,000. Many of these offences are incidents where items are stolen from vehicles. Police remind vehicle owners to remove all items of value from plain view in the vehicle, including sunglasses, CD’s and loose change. Lock your vehicle and, if you have the opportunity, park in a garage. Lock the garage doors. These practices take time, but taking a few minutes to remove the opportunity for a crime can save damage, dollars and emotional upset in the long term. (Monthly crime statistics are available on the Regina Police Service website at www.reginapolice.ca.)
While working in the yard and spring-cleaning, Regina residents are reminded to ensure their doors are locked. In fact, even when you are in your residence, it is a good idea to lock your doors behind you. Too many people leave valuables like purses, wallets and car keys within easy reach just inside the front door. Locking your doors prevents a thief from stepping inside long enough to grab your purse and disappear.
Another common scenario is one where a suspect will distract a homeowner with a false report of a suspicious person or damage in the back yard. When the homeowner goes to the back of the property, a second suspect enters the house to steal keys, wallets or other belongings. In this situation, remember to lock your front door or have another household member remain at the front door.
When warmer weather arrives, some residents may leave windows or doors open in order to cool the house. Recognize that these may be common points of entry for would-be thieves. Don’t leave your house open while you are away and take steps to minimize your vulnerability while you are at home. Always store bicycles, sports equipment and tools behind locked doors at end of day. Try to view your own house and property the way a thief might see it; identify vulnerabilities and take steps to make things more secure.
Helping Regina residents live in safety is a priority for the Regina Police Service. Every one of us has a role to play in neighbourhood and community safety. Take crime prevention seriously by safeguarding your property and employing good personal safety
strategies. Always report any activity that seems suspicious. Anyone who sees a crime
in progress should call 9-1-1. Anyone who has information that could assist police is asked to contact the Regina Police Service at 777-6500 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-
222-TIPS (8477). This is very good advice and I urge you to take it and pass it on to others.
Finally, we warned the public of a new incident of a fraud known as the “Phony Bank Inspector Scam”. Police are concerned there may be more attempts or victims of this type of fraud and are asking people to be aware this scam is active again in Regina. On June 16, 2010, we received a report of an 81 year-old female who appeared to have become the latest victim of a fraud artist posing as a “bank inspector”. On Tuesday, June 15, 2010, the victim withdrew large amounts of cash from her account at a financial institution in the 2000 block of 11th Avenue and, on the instruction of an unknown male caller, turned the money over to an adult male she met in the 2200 block of 11th Avenue. This incident is under investigation and we ask anyone with information to contact police. Typically, this scam starts with a phone call to a resident, usually a senior citizen,
from a person claiming to be an “inspector” for the local branch of a bank. The “inspector” tells the resident that he is investigating dishonest activities of a bank employee and appeals to the senior for help in the investigation. The “inspector” gets
the victim to agree to take a large sum of money out of his or her bank account in cash.
Then the victim waits at a pre-arranged location, turns the cash over to the “inspector” in
the belief that the “inspector” will re-deposit the money into the victim’s account, using
the teller alleged to be under investigation. The theory given to the victim is that the
“inspector” will try to catch the employee in the act of stealing money. In fact, the
“inspector” does not work for a bank, never tries to re-deposit any cash and disappears
with the victim’s money. Because bank employees are alert and may ask questions
when clients withdraw large sums of cash, perpetrators of the “Phony Bank Inspector
Scam” may instruct the victim to say the cash is needed for a family emergency, if
The Regina Police Service reminds Regina residents to exercise caution in any
phone conversation with individuals requesting financial or personal information.
1. Banks never engage clients in any sort of internal investigations or quality control
audits. If you are in doubt, contact your bank or financial institution, by calling the
number listed in your phone book, not a phone number suggested by the caller.
2. Police advise that you should never give personal financial information or a Social
Insurance Number over the phone in any call where you have not initiated the contact.
3. Police further request that anyone who has been contacted by someone claiming to be a
bank inspector or bank auditor, should contact the Regina Police Service Commercial
Crime Unit by calling 777-6500.
South District officers have been extremely busy and have attended many calls, conducted many investigations, made numerous arrests and traffic stops and executed many warrants. We know our workload will increase over the next few months due to the warmer weather. To that end we have taken steps to ensure we have as many front line officers on the street as possible. We are making great strides in our warrant strategy and continue to decrease the number of outstanding warrants on our system, thereby reducing the number of wanted persons in our city.
Tomorrow is Canada Day and a Rider game. It looks like the weather will be good so there will be thousands of people out and about, particularly in Wascana Park and Mosaic Stadium. We have a Canada Day Plan every year to ensure, as much as possible, everyone’s safety as they celebrate the holiday.
Enjoy your summer and work and play safe.
Insp. Lauri Morin
OI/C South District
Regina Police Service