A report from Sidney/North Saanich RCMP before Sidney council Monday shows total crimes in Sidney rose 16 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same period last year. (Black Press Media File)

A report from Sidney/North Saanich RCMP before Sidney council Monday shows total crimes in Sidney rose 16 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same period last year. (Black Press Media File)

RCMP reports crime in Sidney rose 16 per cent during first quarter of 2020

Crimes against person including assaults and domestic violence up

Crime in Sidney has risen 16 per cent during first quarter of 2020 compared to the same time last year, according to an RCMP report.

The report also draws attention to the on-going issue of panhandling and homelessness.

According to the Sidney 2020 Q1 Statistical Summary, criminal code offences across major crime categories rose 16 per cent increase in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same period last year, with crimes against persons rising 107 per cent over the same period of 2019.

“Within this category there was a 150 per cent, increase in assaults, a 67 per cent increase in domestic violence, and a 150 per cent increase in harassment,” it reads.

The report — which Staff-Sgt. Wayne Conley of Sidney/North Saanich RCMP is due to present — does not discuss the reasons behind the increase. But it notes among other points that the increase started from a “disproportionately low” point compared to the previous four years. Indeed, the absolute numbers appear relatively low. For example, a total of 15 cases account for the 107 per cent in violent crimes. It is also important to point out crimes against person account for 21 per cent of criminal code offences in the first quarter.

By comparison, the number of cases in the largest category of crimes — property crimes accounting for 51 per cent of all cases — dropped 13 per cent during the first quarter, with some sub-categories such as fraud, mischief, theft, and shoplifting recording large percentage, but small absolute increases.

Other criminal code offences accounting for 24 per cent of all cases trended up 39 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same period last year. The report attributes this increase to a “substantial increase” in cause disturbance files, especially during the month of February. “This is reflective of the increase in persons coming into the community to panhandle and camp,” it reads.

During his last presentation before council earlier this year, Conley said the detachment will continue to monitor the homelessness situation in the area in suggesting that the issue is not necessarily local, with many homeless coming into the area from elsewhere.

RELATED: Sidney/North Saanich RCMP to monitor to local homelessness

The figures also show that the number of collisions rose by 62 per cent to 42 compared to the same period in 2019, with zero fatal collisions, five non-fatal injury collisions and 37 collisions involving damage. The number of impaired drivers removed from the road dropped by 10 per cent to nine, with police handing a total of 2676 violation tickets issued throughout the Sidney/North Saanich policing jurisdiction in the first quarter of 2020.

Contextually, Sidney, along with Central Saanich and North Saanich, remain among the safest communities anywhere in Canada, according to various metrics, including the recent violent crime severity index (CSI). Sidney (211th), Central Saanich (226th) and North Saanich (228th) rank near the very bottom of the index measuring dangerous crime across 237 Canadian communities.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Willow, a kitten belonging to a Victoria family, was rescued by firefighters on Thursday after she got stuck in a basement drain pipe. (City of Victoria/Twitter)
Victoria kitten stuck in basement drain pipe rescued by firefighters

Willow the cat on the mend, owner feeling ‘enormous gratitude’

(Black Press Media file photo)
Blue-green algae bloom confirmed in Elk Lake, water-based activities not recommended

Blue-green algae can be lethal to dogs, cause health issues for humans

Victoria police arrested a man Jan. 15 after he rammed his minivan into an occupied police vehicle. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria man arrested for ramming minivan into occupied police vehicle

Man caught after fleeing, crashing into cement retaining wall

A fire sparked at an encampment between the Pat Bay Highway and McKenzie Avenue early Thursday morning. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Residents of Pat Bay Highway encampment to be relocated after early morning fire, site secured for clean up

Eviction notice issued in 2020, not enforced to allow BC Housing to connect with campers

Mayor Rob Martin and Costa Canna president Phil Floucault cut the ribbon on Colwood’s first cannabis retail store. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Cowichan Tribes’ Costa Canna cannabis store opens in Colwood

Cowichan Tribes has one-year deal to grow, sell cannabis

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Most Read