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Morris RCMP Sergeant Shelley Lepla breaks down the crime numbers for the year, but noted they can often look inflated or misleading.

For example, there were 89 mischief cases in 2017, which resulted in 4 people being charged. The year prior, in 2016, there were 74 cases with 7 charges laid.

Citizens may wonder why only 4 people were charged with a crime when police looked into a total of 89 cases over the year. Lepla explained 'mischief' includes noise complaints.

"Basically if you're having a loud party, you're interfering with the lawful enjoyment of the person who lives next door to you," she explained.

The number looks high, but if the police go to talk to the person holding the party, that adds to the mischief tally.

Lepla said the same idea rings true for theft.

There were 29 cases of theft over $5,000, with only 3 charges. In 2016, there were 23 with 4 charges. Lepla said 'theft over' usually involves thefts of vehicles or motorcycles, but it's hard to prove someone actually stole the vehicle.

"When you catch somebody with a stolen vehicle they're charged with 'possession of stolen property,' they're not charged with the actual theft of the car... because you can't prove that they stole it, you can only prove that they're in possession of it," Lepla said.

In 2017 theft under $5,000 dollars had 84 cases and 2 charges. The year prior there were 69 and 2 people charged.

As Lepla stated, it is easier to prove someone is in possession of a stolen item. In 2017 there were 16 founded reports for possession of stolen property, with 13 people charged.

The 2017 year saw 83 break and enter cases, with only 3 people charged. In 2016 there were 52 cases and 2 people charged.

Lepla explained it is common for many of the break-ins to be done by the same people, but often there isn't enough evidence to prove it.

"You only have enough evidence to charge that person with the said item, right, when you know they've broken into these others, but you can't prove it in court," said Lepla.

Drug enforcement for possession statistics could also look inflated, because of the 19 cases in 2017, only 7 people were charged. This is because a simple seizure and test of a substance counts toward the number.

"It's documented... (but) it's cleared different than by charge. It's called a 'no-case' seizure," said Lepla "We seize the item but there's no charges related to it."

In 2016 there were 21 drug possession cases and 3 people were charged.  

As for fraud cases in 2017, there were 29 with 7 charges, compared to 61 with 9 charges the year prior. Lepla said this includes identity fraud, misuse of someone else's credit card, and phone scams.

Also, over the year there were 37 reported 'crimes against person,' and 10 people were charged. Lepla said these were for uttering threats and harassment.

Lastly, there were 24 sexual offences cases, with 18 charges laid. In 2016 there were 16 cases and 9 people charged. Sexual offences also include cases of luring minors and crimes committed online.

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