Property crime in Delta was down in the first three months of 2021 but vehicle collisions were up, according to quarterly statistics released by the Delta Police Department.
There were substantially fewer residential break-and-enters in the city during the first quarter of 2021, compared to the same time frame last year — 26 compared to 44 during the same period in 2020. Police say the change can likely be attributed to the impact of the pandemic.
Commercial break-and-enters stayed steady, with 30 recorded during the first three months of both years.
Thefts from auto were down three per cent in the first quarter of 2021, with 194 incidents reported to police, versus 201 reported in Q1 of 2020.
“Unfortunately at the end of the first quarter this trend began to swing the other way, and so far in the second quarter thefts from vehicles has been trending up,” noted Insp. Ciaran Feenan, head of frontline patrol for the Delta Police Department.
The issue has been two-fold, Feenan explained, including thefts of items from vehicles, as well as thefts of catalytic converters, which thieves literally saw off.
“We have a team in place that monitors crime trends on a weekly basis, so we addressed these issues quite proactively, with increased patrols in the middle of the night as well as an education campaigns,” he said.
The patrols paid off, with arrests in the first quarter relating to both types of crimes.
Police recommend that commercial fleet operators and owners of RVs and large trucks have their catalytic converters etched with the vehicle’s licence plate number. The DPD’s district liaison officers have been speaking with local service shops who are in support of this initiative, and police encourage motorists to speak with their mechanics during their next service and inquire about etching services.
Police noted little change in the number of violent crimes (such as assaults and robberies) reported during the first quarter of 2021 — 174 incidents compared to 177 in 2020.
Meanwhile, collisions were up five per cent in Q1, with 253 reported to police versus 240 in Q1 of 2020. Police see that trend continuing into Q2 and say it directly reflects the increased number of vehicles on the road compared to the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Police also handed out significantly more violation tickets in the first three months of the year — 2,984 compared to 2,590 in 2020.
“With ticketing, our focus is on the driving behaviours that lead to collisions and injuries,” Feenan said. “That’s impaired driving, distracted driving and speeding, primarily. We’re targeting areas where we see more collisions, or areas where people have contacted us with concerns, such as school zones.”
Updated current crime trends can be seen at deltapolice.ca/stats/#crimemap.