Salmon Arm RCMP Staff Sergeant Scott West. (File Photo)

Property crime in Shuswap jumps in last quarter of 2018

Break and enters rise from two to 15 in Salmon Arm, one or two suspects deemed responsible

Crimes rose in the last quarter of 2018 in the Salmon Arm detachment area over the same period in 2017, most significantly property crimes such as break and enters.

Statistics are divided into those in the city and those in the surrounding rural area.

Total crimes both inside and outside the city rose less than five per cent, from 1,561 in October through December 2017, to 1,577 in that period of 2018.

Staff Sgt. Scott West emphasized in a report to city council that a hike in crime can generally be attributed to a small number of individuals.

“Again, it’s a result of two or three individuals running amok in the community.”

Property crimes were up about 20 per cent over the same period in 2017, from 93 to 150 in the city, and from 53 to 57 in the rural area. Of those, break and enters jumped from two to 15 in the city, and from three to six outside.

West said the statistic included break-ins to businesses, with a couple of suspects subsequently ending up in custody.

Related: 2017 – Salmon Arm RCMP see rise in number of files

Crimes involving people climbed in total from 20 to 41 in the city and went down in the rural area from 10 to eight. Of those, robberies jumped from zero to five in the city, and remained at one outside city limits.

Domestic violence cases were more than double over the last quarter of last year in the city, jumping from 23 to 49, while in the rural area they went from 10 to 14.

Files involving alcohol or drugs went down in the city from 182 to 158 and also dropped in the rural area from 69 to 37.

There were no homicides or attempted homicides recorded in either the fourth quarter of 2017 or 2018.

Assaults rose in the city, however, from eight to 19 and remained at four in the rural area.

Sexual offences in the city rose from one to four, and went from one to two outside city limits.

Related: Break-in at popular Shuswap convenience store nets ATM

In the city, motor vehicle collisions were down from 62 in the same quarter last year to 53 this year, and down from 34 to 33 in the rural area.

“It was probably in direct correlation to it being cold but not snowy,” West surmised.

During the last quarter of 2018, officers took 14 impaired drivers off the road, conducted 13 traffic enforcement blitzes and did 20 downtown foot patrols.

Coun. Louise Wallace Richmond noted the foot patrols are much appreciated and also asked if the legalization of cannabis has impacted policing.

“As I said in my last report, when they legalized it, there wasn’t a mushroom cloud over the city,” West said. “There’s no change, but people do notice the smell in public areas… In summer we may hear more.”


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