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Powell River RCMP sees over 13% call increase since 2022 fourth quarter

The Powell River RCMP’s fourth quarter crimes stats reveal a 13 per cent increase in calls compared with the same time frame in 2022.

The data compares October to December 2023 with the same period in 2022. This means there were 1,584 calls for service compared with 1,394.

With the 13 per cent increase comes a 42 per cent increase in property crime, a 150 per cent increase in residential break and enters, 50 per cent increase in shoplifting and a 63 per cent increase in vehicle theft.

According to the data, crimes against persons were also up 22.5 per cent. That includes a 48 per cent assault increase, 33 per cent extortion increase and a 57 per cent increase in sex offences.

However, officers received the most calls for non-criminal reasons, like check well-being at 178 in last year’s fourth quarter.

However, overall drug offences were down 33 per cent.

Staff Sgt. Rod Weibe says, however, that the numbers still are not as high as they were in 2019 and for the most part, they are coming down.

He adds Powell River was once considered one of the most dangerous cities in Canada, but is now back at 2018 numbers, according to the Crime Severity Index. An index of 100 puts the city nearly on par with Nanaimo.

While some of the stats seem large, like vehicle thefts, Weibe says they are often to do with parties who know each other, and vehicles are reported stolen when they are not.

RCMP say priorities for 2024 include road safety, crime reduction, reconciliation and employee wellness.

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