Campbell River crime stats drop in 2011

Vehicle B&Es are the only stats that show a spike, thanks to one specific incident

Overall crime in the city was down 9.1 per cent in 2011, compared to figures from the previous year.

The good news was delivered to city council on Tuesday night by RCMP Insp. Lyle Gelinas.

“All categories of Criminal Code offences experienced declines,” wrote the city’s top cop in his report to council. “These reductions equate to 421 fewer offences reported to police.”

Among the highlights is a dramatic decline in break and enters, particularly business break-ins. Total B&Es were down 24.3 per cent over 2010, while business break-ins fell from 75 to 47, a decrease of 37.3 per cent.

Police statistics also show a drop in B&Es for the first quarter of 2012. From January to March, police responded to 33 break-ins, compared to 52 for the same period in 2010.

“The entire detachment is committed to the crime reduction strategy,” wrote Gelinas. “Some of our successes have been putting certain groups in jail.

“However, they will return and this will put pressure on our detachment to continue to target them again.”

One crime area that did spike in 2011 was vehicle thefts. While just one vehicle was stolen that January, there were 17 incidents reported in July.

Part of the reason for the spike, Gelinas explained, was a group of thieves who stole vehicles in order to commit break and enters. In a 26-hour period, from July 14-15, the group stole four vehicles in order to commit three attempted B&Es.

The last vehicle they stole wound up dumped in the city hall parking lot.

However, police were able to get their men.

“At least five members of the group were arrested for possession of stolen property in the weeks following these B&Es,” Gelinas wrote. “These arrests greatly disrupted the group’s ability to operate and contributed to significant reductions in thefts of autos during the months of August (12 incidents) and September (three incidents).”