Members of the Lethbridge community gathered at the Galt Museum on Tuesday evening to ask questions and voice their concerns to members of the Lethbridge Police Service and the Lethbridge Police Commission. The information will be used for the service’s 2023 to 2026 Business Strategic Plan. Last year the service received over 36,000 calls and a majority of the calls were for disturbance and nuisance issues, suspicious persons, trespassing, theft, and public service. LPS Chief Shahin Mehdizadeh says crime trends in the city dropped by 8 per cent in 2021.
“We have seen reduction in crime on the northside, southside, and westside. In the downtown area crime has creeped up a little bit from what we hear and have within our analytics. This is the information I want to share with the public to make sure they are fully aware of what’s going on in the city. For the most part the majority of the crime types have been on the decline, except for we had an increase in break and enters.”
Mehdizadeh says that community engagement was strong during the night and there are now plans for four other town halls later this year. Of the 36,000 calls, 99.5 per cent of them were done without the use of force. 209 subjects were not injured at all when force was used, 24 sustained minor injuries did not require treatment and 13 received out-patient treatment for injuries such as canine bites. This information comes from the Subject Behaviour Officer Response Report from the LPS.
In 2021, 40 per cent of the cases where force was used involved subjects who were perceived as being agitated or intoxicated by alcohol or drugs, 28 per cent were in a state of crisis, 19 per cent had, or were reported to have, access to weapons and eight per cent were believed to be suffering from mental illness.