Crime dropping in Sidney, North Saanich

Crime is down or at worst holding steady in Sidney, North Saanich and area First Nations communities

Crime is down or at worst holding steady in Sidney, North Saanich and area First Nations communities and it’s a trend that the local police hope to see more of in 2013.

In his quarterly report to Sidney council, Staff Sergeant Dennis O’Gorman of the Sidney North Saanich RCMP said local crime is trending downwards, mirroring similar decreases both provincially and nationally.

“There’s no elimination of crime here,” O’Gorman said, “but the trend is the crime statistics are dropping.”

Over Christmas, he said impaired driving charges were down.

Being a little suspicious of those numbers, O’Gorman told Sidney council on March 4 that he went out himself and confirmed what his officers were seeing — impaired driving incidents are, overall, down.

In his report, Sidney saw 667 calls for police service. There were 503 in North Saanich and a total of 214 calls to the area First Nations communities.

In the three months ending 2012, overall crime was lower than the corresponding period of 2011.

Staffing levels for the RCMP detachment will change this year, as they will add another officer — funded jointly by Sidney and North Saanich. O’Gorman said the RCMP will no longer have two officers based at the Victoria International Airport by the end of March, as funding for those officer has been terminated. The police will respond to calls there from the Sidney-based detachment, as they would anywhere else.

The local RCMP, O’Gorman continued, will work with each area municipality to focus policing to local needs.

By the numbers

• The Sidney North Saanich RCMP has 33 regular members (three are on various stages of leave). Eleven members service North Saanich, 14 for Sidney, four for provincial coverage, two for area First Nations Community Policing and two at the airport (ending March 31, 2013).

• There were notable decreases in the crime statistics from October to December, 2012. Here’s the numbers:

Assaults: 44 (64 in 2011)

Break and Enters: 17 (33)

Traffic collisions with injury: 16 (24)

Traffic collisions with property damage: 44 (74)

Impaired drivers: 16 (59)

Thefts over $5,000: 1 (4)

Liquor offences: 106 (86)

Sexual assaults: 7 (4)

Theft from motor vehicles: 63 (47)