Crime is very low and still trending down in Qualicum Beach.
Oceanside RCMP Staff Sgt. Brian Hunter provided mid-year statistics to town council a bit late due to the town’s summer labour dispute. Of the 19 categories presented, reported incidents dropped in six, stayed the same in four and increased in eight, but many of those increases were the positive result of increased enforcement, Hunter said.
An increase in shoplifting incidents from two to 20, for example, was mostly the result of a local store hiring private security, pointing out grocery stores can lose $50,000 a year to shoplifting.
Similarly Hunter said increases in things like provincial traffic offences (increased from 375 to 490) was “due to the amount of resources available.”
While motor vehicle thefts increased from four to five, theft from vehicles fell by almost half from 13 to seven, and Hunter pointed out there were more than 100 in Parksville over the same six months.
“Just about all of them were left unlocked with valuables in there,” he said, praising Qualicum Beach residents for protecting their valuables.
“Distracted driving is an issue across Canada and our community’s not immune to it,” he said highlighting the danger of using cell phones while driving, adding that the province is currently reviewing fines, which he suspects will increase.
He referred to the latest crime severity index of 165 B.C. municipalities, in which Qualicum Beach ranks 163, or third best/least severe crime. Parksville ranked 104th and the rural area 147th.
“This is something for you to be proud of,” he said despite telling the story of a robbery over the weekend (see page A3 in today’s editon of The NEWS or this website).
When asked, Hunter said vandalism to election signs was not included in the numbers, which cover the first half of the year. He said they have had about ten reports of such vandalism, but that there has probably been more than that.
Reported incidents in Qualicum Beach in the first half of 2015 (with equivalent 2014 numbers in brackets):
• Assaults 4 (7)
• Spousal assaults 2 (2)
• Break and enter, business 5 (3)
• Break and enter, residence 2 (9)
• Theft of motor vehicle 5 (4)
• Theft from motor vehicle 7 (13)
• Theft (over & under $5,000) 24 (18)
• Mischief, business and other 17 (17)
• Mischief, residential 10 (5)
• Causing a disturbance 4 (6)
• Drugs 4 (8)
• Impaired driving 1 (1)
• IRP 90-day, fail 3 (2)
• IRP 90-dail, refuse 0 (1)
• Liquor Act offences 10 (7)
• Motor vehicle accidents 26 (26)
• Traffic offences, provincial 490 (375)
• Criminal Code traffic 1 (1)