Alberni property crime trending downward

Property crimes are up by 30 per cent over last year in Port Alberni but the number is the second lowest in five years, RCMP say.

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Property crime is up by 30 per cent over last year in Port Alberni, says RCMP Insp. Mack Richards.

Richards told Port Alberni city councillors that thefts and breaks and enters were up in the Alberni Valley.

The increase was attributable to a warmer winter that allowed suspects to wander about more often, or the presence of others in the community who commit crimes, he said.

The numbers can be skewed though. “We had two youths slash more than 30 car tires in one night so that inflates the numbers,” Richards said.

The numbers must be taken in context, he added.

Over a five-year average, 2014 is shaping up to be the second best year after 2013 when there were 814 thefts and 245 break and enters, Richards said.

Highly visible patrols and vigilant curfew checks account for the bulk of the reduction.

Relationship violence calls are down (27 to date in 2014) from this time last year, Richards said. But there’s always the unknown. “The numbers don’t always tell the story because we know the actual number of incidents is under-reported,” he  said.

The drop in the number of calls is due to establishing an officer that deals specifically with relationship violence, as well as people reporting relationship violence crime more often, he said.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

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