There’s been a noticeable increase in property crime in 2019 compared to 2018, Williams Lake RCMP Insp. Jeff Pelley said as he shared the latest police commission report during Tuesday’s committee of the whole meeting.
“We have had 5,711 calls for service for the City and 1,816 calls for service in the rural area since Jan. 1, 2019,” Pelley told council.
Citing statistics from Jan. 1 to Aug. 31, 2019, Pelley said crime against persons increased to 181 offences in 2019 compared to 120 offences in 2018.
Theft of vehicles increased to 47 offences in 2019 compared to 30 in 2018.
“We had a number of quads that were stolen which we classify as vehicles. We had one just recently recovered in the Lower Mainland as of yesterday so we are focusing on multi-jurisdictional offenders that are between here and Quesnel, 100 Mile, and larger centres. That’s a priority for us.”
Theft from vehicles increased with 130 offences in 2019, compared to 125 offences in 2018.
Break and enter to residences increased to 44 offences in 2019 compared to 21 offences in 2018.
“We’ve seen the double amount of break and enters,” Pelley said, adding most of them are occurring when there is no one home.
Mischief under $5,000 offences increased to 171 offences in 2019 compared to 129 offences in 2018.
Assault offences have increased to 149 offences up from 101 offences in 2018.
Assault with a weapon or causing bodily harm offences have increased with 32 offences in 2019 compared to 20 in 2018.
Drug trafficking offences have increased with 25 offences in 2019 and 19 offences in 2018.
Collisions have increased with 198 reported in 2019 and 157 reported in 2018.
Three areas showed a decrease.
Aggravated assaults have decreased with no offences in 2019 compared to one in 2018.
“However we have had, obviously, very serious persons offence,” Pelley said. “We had a homicide that occurred and we have two ongoing attempted murder investigations where two individuals remain in custody for two attempted murder charges and two attempted kidnapping charges each.”
Break and enter to businesses have decreased slightly to 40 offences in 2019 from 41 offences in 2019.
Drug possession offences have decreased with 60 offences in 2019 compared to 125 offences in 2018.
Pelley said the detachment is using a new scoring system, but he’s not willing to accept that as the reason why the crime rates are going up.
“Basically it is dependent on whether a complainant co-operates or whether there is insufficient evidence for charges. To me these crimes have occurred and our job is to make sure we have strategies in place to focus on those offenders, hot spots, or prevention initiatives to further drive them down.”
Pelley said there are presently 14 prolific offenders in custody and the detachment is focusing on other offenders that are not in the prolific offender program.
“We had approximately 39 individuals on curfews conditions in the month of August and 91 curfew check were conducted by multiple officers resulting in 18 possible breaches being recommended for charge approval against eight offenders.”