Staff Sergeant Brian Hunter says he has all the police officers he needs at the Oceanside RCMP detachment – and they are contributing to a town with the third-lowest crime stats among communities its size in B.C.
Hunter presented the local 2011 crime stats report to Qualicum Beach town council Monday night (Feb. 13). He said similar statistics from BC Stats showed that, in 2010, Qualicum Beach had the third lowest crime rate among B.C. town of a similar size. As well, reported crime in the town was only 49 per 1,000 people in ’10 – down from 53 in 2009.
“I hope 2011 will be even lower,” he said.
The trend in Qualicum Beach, Hunter continued, is crime is going down – despite some recent high profile events, such as an art theft that led to multiple arrests and a recent injury incident involving a pedestrian.
Hunter credits the low crime rate in Qualicum Beach not only to his officers, but to dedicated volunteers and organizations that help with community policing. Those volunteers, he said, number around 180 people.
The report on 2011 statistics shows crime such as assault went from 36 cases in 2010, to 33 in ’11. Thefts from motor vehicle took a steep plunge, going from 82 to 41. As other numbers fell, some held the line. Traffic offences, however, jumped from 872 reported incidents in 2010, to 1,110 in 2011. That was, Hunter said, due to a focus by the department in that area.
As for unreported crime, Hunter said he has no evidence that is changing.
“There are always unreported crimes in a community,” he said, adding he has never seen that change.
For this year, Hunter said he expects to continue with what the local RCMP have been doing, enforcement-wise.