Oceanside RCMP Staff Sergeant Brian Hunter presented the 2011 crime statistics to council on Monday and while there wasn’t improvement in all the numbers, Parksville is still well below the provincial average and generally improving.
He reported the overall crime rate for the city — the number of reported crimes per 1,000 population — was 179 in 2005 and has been dropping since.
The 2010 rate of 101 was the lowest in 10 years and in 2011 it was down to 75, among the lowest in the province.
Comparing reported incidents in 2011 to the previous year, Hunter said they wanted some of the numbers to go up, like the increase in drug offences, climbing from 51 to 78.
“This is an indicator of pro-active enforcement,” he said, adding it reflects his officers actively out finding drug activity.
Some categories that went up were not positive, like the increase of break-ins to businesses climbing from 17 to 21 and to residences up from 18 to 28. In both cases the 2011 numbers where dramatically lower than the rates in 2009 and earlier.
There were 89 break-ins to businesses in 2009 for example.
There were drops in mischief to businesses, theft from motor vehicles, liquor act offences, motor vehicle accidents, provincial traffic offences and criminal code traffic offences.
The implementation of immediate roadside prohibitions (IRPs) had a big effect last year with the total number of impaired driving incidents leaping from 19 to 56.
Hunter called the move “fantastic legislation … savings dozens of lives,” and he’s looking forward to the province resolving recent court issues around the new legislation.
He said they will continue their focus on high visibility patrols like bike patrols during the summer and big events which they get a lot of good feedback on.
Council thanked Hunter for the work of the Oceanside detachment.