Crime drops in Parksville

Oceanside RCMP Staff Sgt. Brian Hunter presented a semi-annual report to Parksville council on Wednesday.

Oceanside RCMP Staff Sgt. Brian Hunter presented a semi-annual report to Parksville council on Wednesday, showing a continuing trend of declining crime.

Comparing numbers of incidents reported to the RCMP for the first half of the year, he said the biggest drops over the same period last year were theft of motor vehicles, down from 15 to eight, mischief to business and other, dropped from 70 to 52 and motor vehicle accidents were down 10 to 71.

“This is a good indicator of what’s going on with traffic safety in the community,” he said.

The latest numbers are not all good, but Hunter said he’s optimistic they are still moving in the right direction.

In categories where the numbers were stable or up slightly, Hunter said they had been much higher in recent years.

For example, while the number of business break and enters edged up from 12 in the first half of 2011 to 13 this year, there were 72 in the first half of 2009.

Similarly, while causing disturbance is up from 35 to 37, there were 85 in 2009.

While theft of motor vehicles was down, theft from them more than doubled from 20 to 42, which he called “one of those frustrating moments,” pointing out that the majority are theft of valuables left in unlocked cars.

He said young offenders often admit they don’t bother with a car if it is locked.

“Things in Community Park are going fantastic,” he said, where he said the police are continuing to focus on bike patrols and having lots of officers around for big events.

Hunter admitted some frustration with the ongoing mischief. While the reported incidents are down, he urged people to “start taking a bit of ownership and pride in our community,” in terms of reporting and discouraging things like vandalism and graffiti.

“There’s folks out there who know what’s going on,” he said. “We’re not out for blood here, we’re just out to educate these folks,” he said, but then stressed that it’s not actually that bad, “it’s not out of control.”