There have been many impacts of COVID-19 on the community of Oak Bay and one unique area is the difference in types of crimes that the Oak Bay Police Department has responded to.
From March 1 to May 20 the number of calls for service to Oak Bay police was down slightly compared to the same time period of 2019, with 843 calls compared to last year’s 998 calls.
One of Oak Bay’s most prolific trends, theft from automobiles, spiked during that period from 20 to 49. Residents also showed they are abiding by the province’s non-essential travel order as requests for vacation home checks – a unique service offered by Oak Bay police – dipped from 61 to just seven.
Y'day we asked you to pls remove valuables & lock car doors. But last nt, we checked a guy who dropped his bags & fled to a nearby bike. The bags are stuffed w/ stolen items (from unlocked cars). We're now trying to return it all. I wonder what will happen tonight in #OakBay?🤔 pic.twitter.com/9OGaLcwmnR
— Oak Bay Police (@OakBayPolice) May 20, 2020
Throughout the last 11.5-weeks, there were eight domestic disputes (up from two), six assaults (up from four), one commercial break-and-enter (down from six) and four residential break-and-enters (down from six). There were eight reports of marine theft, a trend that has risen steadily from two during the same time period in 2018 to six in 2019.
With such small sample sizes it’s important to note the difference one or two prolific offenders can make. Deputy Chief Ray Bernoties said there was nothing in the domestic dispute files that would indicate any sort of trend.
Some domestic files can involve children or youth and their parents and some can be at the same house, he noted.
“The one spike that did seem unique was the theft from autos in March,” Bernoties said. “Again, it’s difficult to determine if that could’ve been caused by one or two prolific offenders.”