(Delta Police Department photo)

Delta property crime down, assaults up in first quarter

Theft from auto was down 35 per cent compared to 2017, while person offences rose the same amount

Property crime is down in Delta but assaults are rising, according to statistics released by the Delta Police Department.

The first quarter of 2018 saw a decrease in all types of property crime compared to the first quarter of 2017. Residential break and enters are down 16 per cent since last year, from 61 instances down to 51, while commercial break and enters are down 33 per cent.

Theft from vehicles is down even more: 158 incidents reported to police between January and March 2018, compared to 245 during the same time in 2017.

“We think the decrease in these numbers is due to the strategic approach we’re taking,” said Supt. Harj Sidhu in a press release. “We make it a priority to keep on top of emerging trends such as in property crime, and we share that information among our patrol staff and specialty units.”

Although the Delta police saw some good news with property crime in the first three months of 2018, it has seen a number of complaints about thefts from vehicles in April. So far, 46 incidents have been reported to police this month, primarily in Ladner and North Delta.

It’s too soon to tell if it will turn into a spike, the Delta police’s release said, but the department is working on a strategy to better deal with those thefts.

Unlike property crime, person offences were up by 36 per cent in the first quarter of 2018. These offences commonly include assault, assault with a weapon and aggravated assaults.

These assaults have gone from 90 incidents in the first quarter of 2017 to 122 in 2018. However, the police department doesn’t think it’s a trend.

“Delta experienced a number of youth-related assaults during that time frame, some of which included weapons,” Sidhu said. “However we do not feel this is a trend, and we’re confident that we are on top of this issue, working with our school liaison and youth officers, as well as community partners.”

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