Crime on Saanich Peninsula stays low

First quarter stats show the ups and downs in an overall low crime rate

Sidney’s mayor says residents on the Peninsula are fortunate to live in an area with very low incidents of crime.

Larry Cross says his community really is a safe place. He was responding to the crime statistics report from the first three months of 2013, presented to council on Monday, May 13 by Sidney North Saanich RCMP detachment Staff Sergeant Dennis O’Gorman. O’Gorman’s report shows relatively low incidents of crime over the first quarter of the year — yet the total number of incidents (99) appear to be on par with the same period last year. In fact, according to his report, some areas have seen an increase in activity.

Vandalism under $5,000 went from 19 over the first three months of 2012, to 37 this year.

Traffic collisions causing property damage over $1,000 jumped to 13 this year, compared with only four in 2012.

Impaired drivers and traffic tickets were also up, 335 so far in 2013 compared with 291 last year.

On the decline were thefts under $5,000 (37 this year, 49 last year), assaults, frauds and thefts from motor vehicles.

Among the communities of Pauquachin, Tsartlip, Tsawout and Tseycum, calls to the RCMP were generally down the first three months of the year. The only increase came in Tsawout — 96 compared with 87 in 2012.

The total calls for service in Sidney were 708 and 439 in North Saanich.

“We are very low on crime,” said Cross, adding he feels his community might have one of the lowest crime rates in the province.

The RCMP has, with the help of the area municipalities, set its 2013/14 policing priorities and will focus on: impaired and aggressive driving, thefts from automobiles, police and aboriginal community relations and drug trafficking through organized crime.

The local detachment will continue with its prolific offender management program — running compliance checks, targeting individuals engaged in illegal activity with the help of their regional policing partners. The goal, states O’Gorman in his report, is to prevent certain people from re-offending.