The number of crimes reported in White Rock dropped by nine per cent in the first quarter of 2020, compared to the same period last year, according to statistics shared last week by the detachment’s commander.
In a report distributed Wednesday, Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls notes that 422 criminal matters were reported to police between Jan. 1 and March 31, compared to 465 in the same quarter last year.
So far this year, the majority (56 per cent) of crimes were to do with property crime. Just one per cent were drug offences, while 28 per cent related to disturbance or “breach” calls (a reference to someone breaching court-ordered conditions).
Reports of thefts from vehicles decreased by 23 per cent from the first quarter of 2019, while residential break-and-enters saw an increase of three incidents (11, compared to eight in the same period last year).
Of the break-ins, three occurred while people were at home sleeping, the report notes. Five were to vacant homes and two were to garages that had been left open.
An arrest and charge was made in connection with one of the break-in incidents, the report adds.
Of six business break-ins, four were to restaurants, three of which occurred in the first month (March 15 to APril 15) of restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Less than 10” sexual offences were reported in the first quarter, as well as one fatal assault. The latter, which occurred in February, resulted in a manslaughter charge, the report notes.
Pauls’ report notes a trend in “sextortion” reports, in which victims receive an email stating that the sender has compromising video of them, or records of pornography websites visited, and demands money. The emails are a scam, the report notes.
Police recommended a total of 25 criminal charges to Crown Counsel this quarter, compared to 44 in the same period last year.
In all, the volume of calls for police assistance in White Rock was eight per cent lower in the first quarter of 2020 compared to last year. The report notes that the impact on reports due to front-counter services being reduced and a pause on volunteer programs – both due to the pandemic – will be better-assessed at the end of the next quarter.