Parksville has seen an increase in break-and-enters to residential property during the past year.
At Monday’s Parksville city council meeting, Sgt. Stephen Rose of the Oceanside RCMP presented to council the ‘Oceanside RCMP Annual Performance Plan Quarter 2 Update.’
From the update, Rose went over crime statistics for the area, including Parksville, Qualicum Beach and the Regional District of Nanaimo. For Parksville, his graph indicated that 10 out of 17 areas showed an improvement, while six areas remained essentially the same.
“There’s only been one increase, and that’s a slight increase in break-and-enters to residential dwellings,” said Rose.
From his graph, residential break-and-enters from 2019 saw 18 reports, and 15 reports for 2020, a slight decrease. However, from 2020 to 2021, reports increased from 15 to 22 – a jump of more than 40 per cent.
“All the other benchmarks that we’re tracking are trending downward, or there’s been no change, which, of course, is nice to see,” he said.
After Rose’s presentation, Coun. Mark Chandler remarked on his concern over the uptick and asked if police suspected a single person was responsible.
“I’d like to be able to say that’s the case. Unfortunately, with this recent increase in the quarter, there’s been no specific or single offender identified… Different offenders, different severity and types of break-and-enters… I just also want the public to know that this isn’t someone breaking in when you’re sleeping at night and emptying your house of all the valuables. This can also include a threat of theft from your carport that happened when you’re at work. It can also be forced entry to an outbuilding on the property and something was taken,” said Rose, adding that residents should be aware of their property and report suspicious activity in the neighbourhood.
He also said when police do crime prevention through environmental design assessments, they advise homeowners and business owners to place surveillance cameras so they provide a level ‘full-face’ view and not an overhead view.
“Certainly masks haven’t made it easier for us, as if we needed something else to make it more difficult to solve crime. But identity being a critical component of every report to Crown we submit has certainly become a little more challenging,” said Rose.
From his report, Rose noted that break-and-enters to businesses significantly decreased in two years, with 2019 seeing 28 reports as opposed to 23 reports in 2020, and only 13 this year.