(Delta Police Department photo)

(Delta Police Department photo)

Crime down overall in Delta last year

Property crime, persons offences down in 2021, but thefts from auto, collisions, drug-impaired driving up

Crime in Delta was down overall last year compared to the three-year average, but thefts from auto, traffic collisions and drug-impaired driving were all up in 2021.

Year-end statistics released by the Delta Police Department Wednesday morning (Feb. 16) show key crime statistics — such as property crime and persons offences — decreased in the city in 2021, when compared to the same crime types over the previous three years.

“It’s really good to see those numbers trending down in most areas,” Deputy Chief Harj Sidhu, who is in charge of operations at the Delta Police Department, said in a press release. “And these year-end stats are in keeping with the data that Statistics Canada issued in the summer, which showed Delta’s Crime Severity Index to be nearly 40 per cent less than the provincial average.”

The Crime Severity Index (CSI) is a national measure of police-reported crime that, unlike the traditional crime rate, takes into account both the volume and seriousness of crimes in a given jurisdiction — a higher score indicates a greater number and/or greater severity of crimes, and a low CSI rate generally indicates that a community is relatively safe. Index scores are compared to a baseline of 100, which is calculated using historical data, and data released by Statistics Canada in July of 2021 shows Delta’s CSI rate for 2020 was 57.04, down 12 per cent compared to 2019.

READ MORE: Crime severity in Delta last year down from 2019 (July 30, 2021)

According to Wednesday’s release, property crime in Delta was down 10 per cent overall compared to the three-year average. Residential break-and-enters showed the most significant drop, down 29 per cent compared to the three-year average, while commercial break-and-enters were down 10 per cent.

Person offences, which includes violent crimes, were down eight per cent compared to the three-year-average, with 726 offences recorded. (“Violent crimes” covers offences such as assaults or robberies, while the broader category of “persons offences” also includes crimes like harassment.)

One type of crime that did increase in 2021 was thefts from auto — up four per cent compared to the three-year-average, with 742 thefts from vehicles.

“We know this type of crime is particularly troubling for our residents, and I want to reassure the public that we continue to make it a priority, and to look for innovative ways to tackle this issue,” Sidhu said. “I’d also like to request that the public get in the habit of never leaving anything of value in their vehicle, even empty bags or boxes, which could tempt would-be thieves. Generally these are crimes of opportunity, and we see them come in waves.”

Sidhu also acknowledged that a significant number of these crimes were thefts of catalytic converters, adding the DPD is working with other police departments and the provincial government on strategies to address this issue.

Collisions also increased in 2021, with 1,229 incidents on Delta roads — up 12 per cent compared to the three-year average. Wednesday’s release notes there was a marked decrease in the overall number of vehicles on the road in 2020 due to the impacts of COVID, which in turn affected the three-year average.

Delta police handed out 8,496 violation tickets in 2021, and continues to employ an evidence-based approach to road safety that includes targeted enforcement in areas that see high numbers of collisions.

Police also saw a significant increase in the number of drivers who performed poorly on drug sobriety tests, up 43 per cent in 2021 compared to the three-year trend. However, Sidhu noted, this reflects the increased number of officers who were trained in drug recognition over the past several years as a result of the legalization of cannabis.

“The other area that we are continuing to see a spike in is reports of cybercrime,” Sidhu said. “We had 507 incidents reported in 2021, an 80 per cent increase when measured against the three-year trend.”

The release noted Delta is not unique in this respect, as a wide variety of cybercrimes — from frauds to sextortions — have seen dramatic increases across Canada in recent years. As a result of this trend, the DPD is devoting more resources, increasing officer training, and investing in specialized equipment to combat this issue.

SEE ALSO: Thefts from vehicles down, collisions up in Delta during third quarter of 2021 (Nov. 12, 2021)

SEE ALSO: Collisions in Delta up significantly in second quarter of 2021 (July 16, 2021)

SEE ALSO: Property crime in Delta down, collisions up in first quarter of 2021 (May 17, 2021)

SEE ALSO: Crime stats in Delta back to pre-COVID levels to close 2020 (Feb. 19, 2021)


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