New figures from RCMP show a rise in property crime, and a drop in crime against persons in the Sidney service area.
The figures appearing in a report before Sidney’s committee-of-the-whole Monday evening show property crime has risen 32 per cent in the first two quarters of 2019 over the same period of 2018.
“Incidents of Property Crime have reached the highest number in [six] years,” it reads. By comparison, the number of crimes against persons (violent) has declined 32 per cent over the same period of 2018. “Violent crime is well below the [five]-year average of 60 offences.”
Other criminal code offences have dropped two per cent over the same period of 2018 in falling below the five-year average of 67 offences.
In terms of raw numbers, Sidney/North Saanich RCMP have dealt with 189 property crimes in Sidney during the first six months of 2019, compared to 143 during the same period last year. The number of crimes against persons dropped to 36 from 53, while the number of other criminal offences dropped to 50 from 51.
Property crimes represented 71 per cent of total criminal code offences in Sidney during the first six months, with crimes against person representing 12 per cent.
A break-down of the period from April to June 2019 shows a 40 per cent spike in property crime compared the same period of 2018.
“Within this category there were increases in all crime types with the exception of bike theft and theft from vehicle,” it reads.
If the overall number of crimes against persons dropped by 24 per cent from April to June 2019 compared to the same period last year, the figures show an increase of 140 per cent increase in the number of assaults — seven.
The figures also suggest that local roads are getting safer, as police crack down on impaired driving.
Police recorded a total of 19 collisions through the first six months — a drop of 49 per cent. “This includes [zero] fatal collisions, two non-fatal injury collisions and 17 damage collisions,” the report reads.
Officers removed 12 impaired drivers off the streets of Sidney. “This translates into a year-over-year increase of 22 [per cent],” it reads.
The report, while a snapshot, is broadly consistent with other measures that show Sidney, as well as the rest of Saanich Peninsula is among the safest regions in Canada.
Figures released last month show Central Saanich’s crime severity index (CSI) stands at 33.27 per cent, while Sidney/North Saanich recorded a CSI of 66.98 per cent.
The CSI is a police-reported measure of crime that measures the volume and severity of police-reported crime in Canada, with an index value of 100. In 2018, the national CSI was 75 — up for the fourth straight year.
The report before Sidney’s committee-of-the-whole does not comment on the causes behind the figures, nor does it offer any recommendations.