Oceanside RCMP Staff Sgt. Brian Hunter calls it “my nemesis.”
The incidents of theft from vehicles in Parksville jumped to 229 in 2015 from 79 in 2014. Hunter expressed frustration with those numbers when delivering the 2015 crime stats to city council on Monday night.
“There are some individuals who have been arrested several times,” said Hunter. “It’s just frustrating when they come back and we arrest them again for the same crime.”
Hunter called it a “revolving door” and said police officers have arrested several people who were committing these crimes to “feed their drug habits.”
The year-end statistics Hunter presented represent reported crimes. In general terms, he said Parksville is “family-oriented community” and there were little or no incidents of note during Halloween or the Christmas/New Year season.
“Our crime rate is lower than our neighbours,” said Hunter. “It’s below average.”
Nine of the 18 specific crimes tabulated in Hunter’s report showed increases in 2015 compared to 2014. Other than theft from vehicles, the crimes that saw increases included theft of motor vehicles (33 in 2015 compared to 22 in 2014), shoplifting (87 from 62), mischief to businesses (127 from 107) and drug offences (62 from 52).
Those reported crimes that showed decreases included theft (190 from 217), residential mischief (41 from 56) and impaired driving (two from five).
In his report to council, Hunter also spoke about the value of the Arrowsmith Community Justice Society, an out-of-court way to settle disputes. He called it “a healing circle type of environment” and suggested more residents, and even the city, could take advantage of the free program.
“I think it’s an underutilized service,” said Hunter.