More cars on the road as compared to earlier in the pandemic led to a dramatic increase in the number of traffic collisions and violation tickets handed out by Delta police in the second quarter of 2021.
According to the latest quarterly statistics released by the Delta Police Department, collisions were up 76 per cent April through June — 274, compared to 156 in Q2 of 2020.
Police enforcement of traffic violations is also up significantly, with 2,666 tickets handed out April through June, compared to 1,003 over the same period in 2020
Year to date, violation tickets are up 58 per cent overall, with police ticketing efforts focused on areas with high numbers of collisions and in response to complaints from the public such as speeding through school zones.
Thefts from vehicles also surged in the second quarter of 2021, with 203 instances compared to 176 in the same period of 2020 —and increase of 15 per cent.
“While the traditional thefts of tools, wallets and phones etc. is captured in the ‘theft from auto’ category, what’s noteworthy now is the surge in thefts of catalytic converters,” Deputy Chief Harj Sidhu, head of community policing for the DPD, said in a press release.
“This is an issue across the region, with the salvage price of metal in the exhaust emission control device considered high.”
Sidhu pointed out that although there are no scrap metal yards in the city, Delta police are still working on a number of initiatives to try to prevent this type of property theft.
Meanwhile, violent crimes are up five per cent year-to-date, with most of that increase in the second quarter — 197 offences versus 179 during Q2 of 2020.
“This has primarily been an increase in assaults, typically between people known to one another, as well as uttering threats and criminal harassment,” Sidhu explained.
Nearly a third of those assaults involved drugs and/or alcohol, and Sidhu noted that 30 per cent of the assaults involved weapons, a factor police must take into consideration when determining how to respond to such calls.
Commercial break-and-enters were down significantly in the second quarter, with just 33 compared to 40 over the same period last year, for a year-to-date decrease of 10 per cent.
Residential break-and-enters are down 19 per cent overall this year but were up in the second quarter, with 32 in Q2 of 2021 versus 28 during the same period last year.
Looking ahead over the next few months, Sidhu urges residents to continue to be vigilant about safeguarding their property, including securing garage doors and windows before going to sleep.
As well, residents should remove all valuables from their vehicles, including garage door openers, and if possible park in a locked garage or in an area with lights to discourage catalytic converter thefts.
Updated current crime trends can be seen at deltapolice.ca/stats/#crimemap.