The Okotoks RCMP presented their "What We Heard" report from the recent safety survey to Town Council earlier this week.

Every year, the RCMP redirect their resources based on their Annual Performance Plan (APP), which is a mix of local and provincial priorities that are intended to reflect the community's public safety priorities.

This year's survey included additional questions about Bylaw and Municipal Enforcement.

As part of the survey, they engaged with Okotoks residents, business owners, and their Citizen Panel which consists of those who wish to be contacted for public consultation opportunities.

In total, 469 residents and business owners and 130 Citizen Panel members provided feedback online while 65 people showed up to the Public Safety Open House, which is a 13.6 per cent decrease in participation since the survey was done the year prior.

The survey found that 92 per cent of participants found their community either very safe or safe in 2023, whereas 95 per cent of those participating in 2022 said they felt either safe or very safe.

While the survey reports that the number of participants who have had an interaction with either a member of the Okotoks RCMP or Municipal Enforcement has gone up compared to the previous year, the number of direct victims of property crime has dropped.

In 2022, 24.9 per cent of participants said they had interaction with Okotoks RCMP, while 15.5 per cent of participants had an interaction with Municipal Enforcement.

In 2023, the amount of people who interacted with the RCMP went up to 30.9 per cent of participants, for a 6 per cent increase, and the amount who interacted with the Municipal Enforcement increased to 25 per cent, which represents a 9.5 per cent increase.

Last year's survey showed that 12.6 per cent of participants were direct victims of property crime, but that number dropped by almost 5 per cent this year, with only 7.9 per cent of participants reporting they were victims of property crime.

The top 3 concerns participants had about their neighbourhood, were Traffic Safety, property crimes, and a lack of police presence.

The RCMP took that information and created a list of top priorities they will focus on this year.

Property crime is still a top priority for the RCMP, but it fell from the top spot in 2022 but dropped to 3rd on the priority list this year.

Traffic safety, though, rose up the priority list and is now the RCMP's top priority this year.

The rest of their top five priorities are Impaired or distracted driving, property crime, police visibility, and crime reduction strategies, respectively.

To see the full results of the survey, press here.