The Delta Police Department is reporting the number of crashes and thefts from cars continued trending down in the fourth quarter of 2018, while the number of break-and-enters and assaults remains higher than in year previous.
In a press release issued on Wednesday afternoon (Feb. 6), the DPD said between October and December of last year, the total number of “persons offences” — which include assault, arson, robberies and other interpersonal crimes — was 116, compared to 95 for the same period in 2017.
After analyzing the data, police determined assaults between strangers were infrequent but that violence between co-workers, family members or people who were otherwise known to each other had increased. In fact, around 77 per cent of assault reported throughout 2018 were between people known to one another.
“When we look more closely at the persons offences data over the past three years, we see that it is the number of assaults that have increased, compared to the three year trend line. This is similar to a trend being seen around Metro Vancouver, with person offences up around 8% for the year,” DPD chief Neil Dubord said in the release.
“It’s challenging to say exactly what has led to the increase, as it could be a variety of factors including increasing population, economic stresses, or an increase in the willingness of the public to report domestic violence.”
Commercial and residential break-and-enters were also up in the last three months of 2018 — a total of 54, as compared to 44 during the same period in 2017. Commercial break-ins numbered 46 for the three-month period in question, and police observed a significant spike on break-ins on Annacis Island in the latter half of last year. The release noted police have been working hard with businesses in the area to drive down the number of these crimes, but more work remains to be done.
Meanwhile, the DPD reported a drop in the number of crashes on Delta’s streets, with a total of 342 between October and December, down from the 367 in 2017. Police also handed out 2,547 violation tickets during the last quarter of 2018, compared to 2,306 in 2017.
“The community has consistently told us that traffic is one of their top three priorities, and we’ve focused our resources throughout 2018 to really drive down the number of collisions, particularly in our high-crash locations,” Dubord said.
Finally, reported thefts from cars have declined as well, with police recording 145 in the final quarter of 2018. It’s a marked decline from the same period in 2017, when police received reports of 247 thefts-from-auto.
“Theft from auto is really a crime of opportunity, as no matter how many proactive patrols police do, we can’t be everywhere,” Dubord said. “Remove the opportunity, and the incidences of this crime go down. I have to give credit to the public here, who I think has heeded the call to remove all valuable and personal items from their vehicles.”