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Calls increase in RCMP quarterly report, violent crimes up 17%

An increase in violent crime calls has been recorded in the first quarterly report by RCMP, and an overall increase in call volume.

According to the report presented to Courtenay council Wednesday, RCMP responded to over 3,900 calls for service. They say that is a 3.8 per cent increase in overall call volume compared with between April 1 and June 30 of 2022.

They add that all but two of the most frequent call types increased between six and 30 per cent in the time frame, as theft and property related calls dropped by 24 per cent and one per cent respectively. The most common was check wellbeing, which had a 19 per cent increase.

The report says that 260 calls were made for violent crimes in the first quarter, meaning a 17.1 per cent increase compared to last year. The largest increases were seen in assaults with 129 recorded this year compared to 104 and extortion with 10 calls reported compared to two last year.

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Sex offences remained level at 20 and uttering threats decreased by six per cent.

The highest number of violent crime calls were in Downtown Courtenay and East Courtenay, with 57 and 54 respectively.

Within the downtown area, the highest increase in calls was seen at the Connect Warming Centre with a 747 per cent jump. However, RCMP point out the increase is in part due to the centre not operating for part of last year.

A 183 per cent increase in calls was recorded at the library on 6th Street, and an 80 per cent increase was recorded at the 7-Eleven on Ryan Road.

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Property crimes also saw a six per cent increase in the city, with most of the calls in East Courtenay at 155, and downtown at 168.

Police add that the upcoming weekend will see a pilot project come to an end, where dedicated foot patrols were increase during the summer months.

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