Assaults, break-ins on the rise in Vernon - InfoNews

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Assaults, break-ins on the rise in Vernon

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May 13, 2019 - 5:30 PM

VERNON - While the latest numbers from Vernon RCMP show crime dropped slightly overall in the first three months of this year, the number of assaults and residential break and enters are up when compared to the same period in 2018.

Vernon RCMP detachment commander Supt. Shawna Baher presented the quarterly policing report to city council today, May 13. The first quarter stats show cases of assault up 54 per cent from 67 in 2018 to 103 this year. The number of residential break and enters increased from 16 in 2018 to 23 in 2019, a 43 per cent increase.

Theft under $5,000 also saw a significant increase up 40 per cent in 2019, from 193 in 2018 to 271 this year.

The 15 most commonly reported crimes declined by 3.13 per cent in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the same time last year. These include assault, break and enter, theft over and under $5,000, impairing driving and motor vehicle accidents, among others. The number of drug related crimes stayed consistent with 2018 numbers with 83 in 2018 and 82 in 2019. 

Baher told Vernon council the increase in break and enters was possibly in relation to 10 of 17 identified prolific offenders not being in custody.

Changes brought forward by the Canadian Centre of Justice Statistics in 2019 means the report now includes offences where the incident occurred or was attempted, or there was no credible evidence to confirm that the incident did not take place. Prior to 2019, crime statistics only included offences that were proven to have occurred. Baher said this may affect results when comparing 2019 statistics to previous years.

She pointed out while an increase in some commonly reported crimes would show police were making arrests, other crimes such as break and enter showed a different picture.

“Our stats should go up if we're doing our job, but [break and enters] should go down,” Baher said.

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