There was a “significant increase” in the number of drunk drivers caught on Delta roads in 2019, according to year-end stats released by the Delta Police Department.
Crime held steady across most categories in 2019 as compared to the previous year, with a notable decline in the number of commercial and residential break-ins. However, Delta police handed out 551 immediate roadside prohibitions (IRPs) last year — compared to 355 in 2018 — with penalties ranging from three- to 90-day driving suspensions and $600 to “thousands of dollars” in fines, on top of the vehicles being impounded.
Worth noting is those IRP totals do not include anyone who potentially faces criminal impaired driving charges, those who received only 24-hour driving suspensions or those who underwent a standard field sobriety test, which is administered when someone is suspected to be impaired by drugs.
“Unfortunately, that trend seems to be continuing right through into 2020,” DPD Chief Constable Neil Dubord said in a press release. “One week in January, we pulled 15 drunk drivers off Delta roads. This past month, we also had a crash involving a suspected drunk driver in which a young child was seriously injured. So it won’t be a surprise for the public to learn that our officers will continue to do significant enforcement to stop impaired driving this year.”
The number of break-and-enters in Delta dropped again over the fourth quarter of 2019, as it had in the two quarters previous. Overall, residential break-and-enters decreased 14 per cent in 2019, with 184 compared to 215 the year previous, while commercial break-and-enters decreased 15 per cent, with 126 compared to 149 in 2018.
Thefts from autos were up slightly in 2019, with 688 incidents reported to police compared to 682 in 2018.
“Fortunately we saw an encouraging trend in the second half of 2019, with the lowest numbers of the year for theft-from-auto in the last quarter,” Dubord said.
The chief urged the public to do their part to discourage these crime by removing all valuables — sunglasses, garage door openers, loose change, etc. — from their vehicles.
As well, police are asking homeowners and businesses with video cameras facing a street, driveway or parking lot to register for 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. To register, visit deltapolice.ca/cwp.
Persons offences — which include crimes such as assault, sexual assault, arson and robbery — were up six per cent overall in 2019, with 873 incidents last year compared to 820 in 2018, though the last quarter of the year saw fewer incidents being reported to police as compared to earlier in the year.
The most common type of persons offence is assault, and police note most incidents involve persons known to each other, or occur as a results of someone’s profession, such as a loss prevention officer being assaulted in the course of trying to stop a theft in progress.
Traffic collisions reported to or attended by police were down three per cent in 2019 — 1,152 compared to 1,193 in 2018 — and police handed out fewer violation tickets overall: 11,769 in all of 2019. For current and planned traffic enforcement efforts and road closures, follow @DPDTraffic on Twitter.
Past DPD quarterly crime stats are available online at deltapolice.ca/stats, along with a link to the department’s online crime mapping system.