Oceanside RCMP Staff Sergeant Brian Hunter updated Qualicum Beach town council on the year end statistics for 2015.
He highlighted an increase in theft from motor vehicles from 25 to 43 over last year.
“We’ve had a real rash of them this year, to put it in perspective the city of Parksville had 229.”
“It’s quite frustrating for the members of the detachment, we have a bit of a revolving door with our criminals,” Hunter said.
“We’ve made well over 10 arrests this year in relation to theft from vehicles, these are folks that are primarily feeding drug habits, they’ve admitted that to us,” adding “several have been arrested multiple times.”
While they are working on it, Hunter asks the public to to do their part by locking their vehicles and not leaving valuables in sight.
He said that shoplifting is up from zero to 26 due to a local store hiring security.
Hunter used the presentation as a chance to highlight the work of the Arrowsmith Community Justice Society which he said has successfully been using restorative justice, including a “healing circle type of enviroenment,” to keep suitable cases out of court.
“They also do alternate dispute resolution,” he said, suggesting it is a valuable and underused free service that could help with neighbour and other disputes within the town.
Program coordinator Linda Cherewyk previously explained that restorative justice is a non-adversarial, non-retributive approach that emphasizes healing in victims, meaningful accountability of offenders and the involvement of citizens.
She said when both sides of an issue agree to go through the process and sit down together, “once the emotions are set aside it is quite easy to resolve.”
“Often emotion is the first response, but once they start talking like they should have done in the first place, most results are very good.”
Hunter encouraged people to contact the society — which has been around for 18 years — directly. Visit www.acjs.ca or call 250-954-2968 for more information.
Assaults (spousal) 15 (2) 14 (6)
B & E business 3 11
B & E residence 15 10
Theft of motor vehicle 12 6
Theft from motor vehicle 25 43
Theft (over/under $5,000) 44 50
Shoplifting 0 26
Mischief – business & other 56 40
Mischief – residential 20 28
Cause disturbance 15 14
Drugs 14 11
Impaired Driving 1 1
IRP 90 day (fail) 3 5
IRP 90 day (refuse) 1 0
Liquor Act offences 19 11
Motor vehicle accidents 52 62
Traffic offences (provincial) 681 684
Criminal Code traffic 1 1