The Victoria Police Department has responded to 567 per cent more business break and enters between March 15 and May 2, 2020 than during the same time period in 2019. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Business break and enters up 567 per cent during pandemic: Victoria police

Sexual assaults, impaired driving reports decreased

The Victoria Police Department has responded to 80 break and enters at local businesses since the pandemic started, a 567 per cent jump from last year.

The police department released a table of statistics Friday, May8 detailing crime statistics between March 15 and May 2, 2020 in comparison with the same time period in 2019. The numbers reflect reports generated by officers who attend a call for service, VicPD says.

READ ALSO: Victoria police chief asks city to fund more patrols at camps for homeless

While business break and enters soared above all other categories, auto theft is also up from last year, 42 per cent above 2019 numbers. Theft from cars increased from 238 in 2019 to 301 in 2020 – a 26 per cent increase.

Robberies and mischief are also up, 56 per cent and 40 per cent respectively. Domestic disputes rose 20 per cent – from 122 in 2019 to 147 in 2020.

But not all crimes increased since the pandemic began. Reported sexual assaults dropped 45 per cent, with 20 in 2019 and 11 in 2020. Impaired driving is also down 19 per cent.

Mental health-related calls, however, have increased by 20 per cent.

Victoria granted VicPD $52,500 in special funding for policing during the pandemic. With shelters closed, hundreds of the city’s most vulnerable slept outside in encampments at Topaz Park and along Pandora Avenue, increasing calls for service in those areas significantly. Since then, BC Housing has begun the process of moving people to indoor shelters such as hotels and arenas.

READ ALSO: VicPD evaluating protocols in response to COVID-19



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

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