Ridge Meadows RCMP have seen a drop in crime during the first four months of 2020.
In an online presentation to Pitt Meadows city council, Ridge Meadows RCMP Insp. Aaron Paradis pointed out some fairly significant downturns in many important areas of crime this year compared to 2019.
Crimes against persons, which include offences such as assaults, uttering threats, and criminal harassment, as well as sex offences, and robberies, went down 23 per cent compared to last year.
There has also been a 47 per cent decrease in property crimes such as break-and-enter and theft from vehicles, he explained.
Paradis said the recent COVID-19 outbreak might have played a role in those figures.
“More people are home, so when these are coming up we’re getting calls right away, because people are seeing them…” he said.
There have been notably fewer driving-related incidents, as well, Paradis explained.
Police attended collisions and impaired driving investigations are both down by 36 per cent.
“These are [figures] we’re always happy to report,” the inspector said. “That’s something, as a detachment, we prioritize as many of the fatal collisions we have had in our area have been impaired driving, so we’ve had a huge push [to combat that].”
One area that spiked is offences involving controlled drugs and substances. The number of cases has risen by 600 per cent, but only because there was only one case in the first four months of 2019, while there there have been seven in 2020.
Of the 1,113 calls for service in Pitt Meadows, Paradis said the top five have been traffic incidents (81), theft (74), assistance calls for police, fire and ambulance (64), disturbance (61), and domestic in progress (60).
While some numbers have gone down due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the domestic calls have risen slightly, Paradis noted.
“As more people were spending time together – and I don’t say this as any humorous way – with everything that’s going on in the world it’s very trying on people’s patience and their demeanour.”
The ongoing RCMP priorities for the city are as follows, Paradis said.
1. Increased uniform visibility and engagement throughout the city;
2. Visibility and enforcement in the Harris Road Park area; and
3. Visibility and enforcement – particularly addressing speeding on Airport, Bonson, and Harris Roads.