Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article appeared based on inaccurate information supplied by Victoria Police. This article has been updated to reflect corrected statistics. Victoria Buzz apologizes for any confusion.
Early crime statistic from the Victoria Police show an increase in break and enters but lower levels of theft, fraud and other charges in the first seven months of 2020.
There have been 311 break and enters reported from January 1 to July 31 2020, compared to 162 in the same period in 2019 and 152 in 2018.
Cst. Cam McIntyre said in an interview with Victoria Buzz that there was a significant spike in break-ins at downtown businesses during COVID-19 lockdown measures.
“With businesses not being staffed, we saw a lot of break and enters around January to March.”
Weapons related offences also saw an increase, with 154 offences in the first seven months of 2020.
However, McIntyre says that these offences include the use of replica or imitation firearms and other weapons used in the commission of crimes.
On August 6 VicPD reported that they had responded to 59 files involving replica firearms, and McIntyre says that number is now over 60.
Meanwhile, other types of crimes appear to be on the decline in the municipality.
There were 630 incidents of thefts from January 1 to July 31 of 2020, compared to 863 theft reports in the same period in 2019.
That represents a decline of 37 per cent.
Shoplifting also saw a marked decline in reported incidents, with 67 incidents in the first seven months of 2020.
2019 saw nearly double that amount of cases with 133 incidents in the same time period.
There were also 18 reports of sexual assault in 2020 so far, compared to 32 reports of that nature last year. It is important to note, however, that sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes in the country.
Cases of fraud, indecent acts, and traffic suspensions saw minor drops, while assaults, arsons, and robberies remained fairly stable.
The full table of statistics is below:
CORRECTION | We are issuing a correction to crime statistics issued today. The # of calls for service are for the time period of Jan 1-Jul 31 each year. The previous release stated they were for the full year. We apologize for the error.#yyj
— Victoria Police (@vicpdcanada) August 21, 2020