Property crime in Delta continued to trend downward in the third quarter of 2019, but the number of persons offences like assault and robbery also increased.
Q3 crime statistics released by the Delta Police Department show fewer residential and commercial break-and-enters in July, August and September than there were during those same months in 2018.
Residential break-and-enters dropped significantly to just 38 — down from 55 during the summer of 2018 and 47 in the second quarter of 2019. Commercial break-and-enters were also down significantly, with only 25 in the third quarter of 2019 compared to 44 during the same period last year.
Thefts from auto, despite some occasional spikes, also declined in the third quarter of 2019, with 168 incidents compared to 179 in Q3 of 2018.
“We’ve been very encouraged by these trends,” DPD Chief Neil Dubord said in a press release. “Property crimes are a priority for the Delta police, but it’s really a partnership between police and the public to drive those numbers down.
“I want to caution people to remember to keep valuables out of sight, and that includes things like loose change and sunglasses. And remember, we often see a spike as people start holiday shopping, with packages [left] in cars.”
Dubord encouraged business and home owners to register with the DPD’s community watch program, a voluntary online database of homes and businesses with video cameras that investigating officers can approach when looking for footage of a crime.
Meanwhile, persons offences have continued to increase, with 248 in Q3 compared to 184 during the same period last year. The rise is in line with a trend Delta police have been seeing since 2018. Persons offences include crimes such as assault, sexual assault, arson and robbery.
Assaults and robberies have both increased in Q3. Police analysis shows that domestic and family violence account for 36 per cent of assault files in Delta, while workplace assaults make up about another 34 per cent. The remaining assaults include scenarios such as road rage, shoplifting and customer service incidents.
Youths are involved in 13 per cent of the assault files, and 23 per cent of robberies.
Police say external factors influencing this increase in persons offences may include increased reporting rates, population growth, an increase in homelessness and increased drug use.
“We are targeting this issue through enforcement of alcohol laws and strategically focusing resources on areas where we see an increase,” Dubord said. “We are also working hard to address domestic and family violence and enhance our youth intervention programs and mental health strategies.”
Rounding out Q3 reporting, traffic collisions numbers have remained more or less steady, with 265 incidents compared to 256 during the same period last year. A press release notes that as September was unusually rainy, those numbers are considered in line with previous quarters.
Meanwhile, traffic enforcement has also continued at a steady rate, with 3,330 violation tickets handed out to drivers in this quarter, compared to 3,510 this time last year.