Police in White Rock received more calls for service in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period last year, while at the same time logging sharp decreases in everything from auto theft to commercial break-and-enters.
A report shared this week explains that 1,655 calls received between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2021 marks an 11 per cent increase over the same period in 2020, when the detachment fielded 1,490 calls.
Despite that increase, auto theft dropped by 60 per cent, to four from 10; theft from autos decreased by 47 per cent (to 36 from 68); and commercial break-and-enters declined by 56 per cent (to 10 from 23) over the same three months of last year.
The total number of criminal matters reported also decreased, by 10 per cent (to 381 compared to 422 in the first quarter of 2020), while the number of charges recommended to Crown counsel almost doubled, to 45 from 25.
Other statistics that increased were the number of calls police dealt with that had a mental-health component. Those jumped by 13 per cent, to 131 for the first quarter of this year from 115 one year prior.
Last year, the issue of police having to routinely respond to calls that are more appropriate for a health-care professional prompted Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls to suggest that the City of White Rock bill Fraser Health for Mental Health Act apprehensions in which waits for assessment at Peace Arch Hospital exceed 30 minutes. Most waits, he noted in a report shared last October, range from 2.5 to six hours.
From January to March this year, police responded to 31 calls involving assessments/apprehensions under the Mental Health Act.
There were more reports of crimes against another person in the first quarter of 2021; an increase of 28 per cent, to 78 from 61 reported over the same period last year. Of the 78, five were sexual offences and 38 involved threats or harassing communications. Sixteen per cent of violent offences were intimate-partner incidents and 10 per cent were between other family members.
‘Traffic enforcement interactions’ were highlighted in the report under ‘notable incident trends/police activity.’
In the first quarter, police logged 649 such interactions – a 234 per cent increase over the same period last year.
The focus on road safety will continue this year, the report pledges, along with a campaign targeting loud, modified vehicles.
West Beach residents earlier this month raised concerns with that latter issue along Marine Drive, calling on police to do more to address the problem.
Regarding COVID-19, police fielded four calls related to public health orders in first quarter – two under the COVID Related Measures Act and two under the Quarantine Act.
“There have been no charges laid in White Rock, with most businesses and residents complying with the Health Orders or being receptive to the educational approach,” the report states.
Surrey RCMP also released its first-quarter report this week, highlighting an 11 per cent decrease in violent crime and a total of 46,545 calls.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter