West Shore RCMP says that although there is no trend of crimes occurring in one community in particular, public safety improves when people are more aware.
According to quarterly crime statistics reported by West Shore RCMP to the City of Colwood last week, some crime has decreased while other types have gone up.
A table in the report shows there has been an increase in reported crimes such as residential break and enters, thefts from motor vehicles, fraud and fatal traffic collisions between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30 of this year in comparison to the same time frame last year.
Cpl. Chris Dovell of the West Shore RCMP said crime trends can be linked to repeat offenders.
“Trends in property crime are often linked to prolific offenders in the community,” Dovell said. “When prolific offenders are in jail, crime goes down, whereas when they are released from jail or new prolific offenders move in, crime goes up.”
Two crimes that decreased significantly according to the report are drug production and business break and enters.
Dovell said West Shore RCMP employs a crime analyst who tracks areas where crime is occurring. According to Dovell, “there is no general crime trend in any one community or neighbourhood.”
In total, the West Shore RCMP received 15,949 calls for service between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30, 2018.
The RCMP reported 16,855 crimes in total during the same time frame. Both numbers are an increase from last year.
Dovell said of the West Shore communities, Langford had the largest number of calls for service but noted Langford also has the highest population in the area.
According to the report, the West Shore RCMP had six priorities for the 2018/2019 fiscal year. They were to prevent and reduce organized crime, enhance road safety (particularly speeding), community engagement, enhance relationships with Indigenous communities in the area, reduce property crimes and reduce crimes against persons.
When it comes to community members taking steps to improve their personal safety and the safety of their belongings, Dovell said residents need to be more aware.
“Personal safety while in public improves when people are aware of [their] surroundings and stay in groups,” Dovell said. “People need to take precautions to lock valuables and keep them out of sight to prevent theft.”