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Crime in Prince Rupert reaches five-year low in 2013

Numbers released by the RCMP show crime in Prince Rupert reached a five-year low in 2013.

The number of offences handled by the detachment in 2013 was 4,084, a drop of 633 from 2012 and a drop of more than 1,350 from the five-year high of 5,439 offences recored in 2011. However, not each of the seven offence categories saw a five-year low and some actually hit a five-year high in 2013.

Crimes against persons was at a five-year low after falling 22 per cent from 2012, from 668 to 523, and most of the crime types were down. Aggravated assaults were down 75 per cent, assaults with a weapon were down 28 per cent, common assaults were down 17 per cent and instances of criminal harassment, uttering threats and sex-related offences were down. The only personal crime category that increased in 2013 was robbery, which rose from nine cases in 2012 to 13 cases in 2013.

Property crimes hit a five-year low in 2013, falling nine per cent year-over-year to sit at 1,069. While instances of shoplifting and arson were down, break and enters to businesses and residences increased in 2013, the number of stolen vehicles increased, theft from motor vehicles was up and fraud was also on the rise last year.

The number of drug offences hit a five-year high in 2013, reaching 193 cases compared to 134 in 2012. Possession, trafficking and production of cannabis crimes all rose last year, 26 per cent, 44 per cent and 28 per cent respectively. Possession of cocaine remained level with 13 instances last year and there was one count of possession of ecstasy compared to none last year, but the trafficking of other drugs fell by 67 per cent.

While the number of traffic violations issued was down 26 per cent, falling from 413 in 2013 to 306 in 2013, the number of traffic complaints received was up from 463 in 2012 to 560 in 2013, an increase of 21 per cent. The number of impaired driving charged was fairly stagnant year-to-year, with 94 recorded in 2013 compared to 92 in 2012.

Also of note, at the end of the year the RCMP detachment handled the fewest number of prisoners in four years, with 1,203 prisoners compared to 1,450 in 2012 and down from a high of 1,742 at the end of 2010.

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