CPS sees slight increase in violent crime in 2020

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By Nick Seebruch
CPS sees slight increase in violent crime in 2020

CORNWALL, Ontario – Cornwall Police Service (CPS) Chief Danny Aikman presented his service’s crime statistics for 2020 to the CPS Board on Thursday, May 6, 2021.

The Chief explained that 2020 saw a slight increase in violent crime as well as some property crimes.

Of note, Assault with a Weapon offences was up by 26.7 per cent in 2020 with 114 reported cases that year compared to 90 in 2019. Sexual Assaults and Sexual Interference crimes reported to the police were also up by 13.6 per cent and 50 per cent respectively with 99 cases of Sexual Assault reported to CPS in 2020 compared to 94 in 2019 and 12 cases of Sexual Interference in 2020 compared to eight in 2019.

Domestic violence was also an ongoing issue in 2020 with CPS receiving 844 Domestic Disturbance calls.

“We are Domestic Violence Coordinator is working with our shelters to identify potential victims of domestic violence,” Aikman said.

Overall, property crime was down in 2020 compared to the previous year.

“I think this decrease is attributable to the pandemic,” said Chief Aikman. “Sometimes our break and enters are in residences, and if people are in their homes, usually perpetrators do not want to interact with the residents.”

One property offence that was up significantly was Theft of Mail, which saw a 350 per cent increase on the previous year with 27 reported cases in 2020 compared to just six in 2019.

Drug crime also remains a continuing concern for CPS Aikman explained.

In 2020, there was a 46 per cent increase in drug violations from the year before. Opioids are of particular concern, with the CPS issuing a joint statement with the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) earlier in 2021 warning of rising numbers of opioid overdoses in the community.

Aikman said that so far in 2021, CPS officers had also used the opioid overdose prevantative drug Narcan five times.

CPS had also seen an increase in calls related to enforcing pandemic related measures under the Emergency Management Civil Protection Act (EMCPA). The CPS responded to 330 calls related to the EMCPA in 2020. The CPS gave out 16 warnings related to violations to the EMCPA and laid 22 charges, with Aikman saying that more charges were coming related to an anti-mask protest that occurred in Cornwall on May 1.

Aikman shared the story of an uncle of his who held a gathering, contracted COVID-19, and passed away from it this past Sunday.

“Those who want to deny it are living in a fantasy world that conspiracy theorists seem to like to inhabit,” said Aikman.

Chief Aikman also provided an update on public complaints made against CPS officers in the first quarter of 2021. Aikman said that in the first quarter of this year, there had been four public complaints filed against CPS officers. Chief Aikman explained that two were for discreditable conduct, and two were for neglect of duty.

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