DELTA residents continue to enjoy the benefits from living in a safe community, but despite the positive trend in the numbers, police acknowledge there is room for improvement.
Crimes against people – such as assault or robbery – were down 21% in 2017 to 378 incidents – down from 477 in 2016.
Break and enters at businesses declined 10%, with 133 in 2017. And residential break and enters were down even more – 23% with 141 in 2017.
“We’re really pleased to see the numbers declining in this way,” said Delta Police Chief Neil Dubord. “We enjoy a high quality of life here in Delta, and we really are fortunate to live in such a great community.”
However, he recognizes there are a number of persistent issues that the Delta Police continue to work on.
Thefts of items from autos were up 16% to 982 in 2017. However, actual thefts of vehicles saw a decrease, down 14% to 194 in 2017.
The spike in thefts from autos was obvious last year and Delta Police used a number of tactics to address the surge, such as the “You Leave It, They’ll Take It – Leave it Empty” campaign, and alerts to residents when a spike occurred.
“We’ve ordered a portable reader-board as well,” said Dubord. “We’ll be able to deploy it to areas where we are seeing a spike. We need to be innovative in the ways that we are communicating with neighbourhoods – social media, traditional media, door-to-door – we are doing whatever it takes. And of course we increase patrols as and when required.
“But we’re asking the community to do its part too. It’s wonderful that our residents feel safe here, but we need people to take basic precautions, and ensure they don’t leave anything of value in their vehicles, including passports, cash, sunglasses and phones.”
The other area of concern for Delta residents is traffic collisions, which saw an increase of 10% last year reported to police. The increase hasn’t gone unchallenged by Delta police who ramped up the number of violation tickets handed out to motorists to 8,079 last year, an increase of 20% from 2016.
“We occasionally get comments on social media that tickets are a cash grab, or that police should focus on more important work,” said Dubord. “However, preventing someone from getting killed or injured by a distracted, speeding or impaired driver is our job. We’d be thrilled to hand out fewer tickets. You can expect more news from us in this area in the coming months.”