Sex offences in the Cowichan Valley are up by 19 per cent so far in 2021 from the same period last year, according to the RCMP.
In a report to the City of Duncan, head of the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment Insp. Chris Bear said mental-health related files are also up 14 per cent from the same period in 2020, and Section 28 Mental Health Act Apprehensions are up a whopping 66 per cent.
The police have the authority, under Section 28 of the MHA, to bring a person to the hospital to be examined by a doctor if the police have reason to believe that a person who is suffering from a mental illness is likely to cause harm to themselves or others, or get worse if not treated.
Bear also said there were six fatal collisions in the Valley in 2021 up until the end of September, compared to just one in the same time period last year.
To date in 2021, the detachment received 15,387 calls for service compared to 15,445 in 2020, which is a 0.4 per cent decrease.
Bear said calls for service in the Valley during the summer months this year are a mixed bag.
He said that during July, August and September (the year’s third quarter), the police have seen some decreases in several types of calls for service, and increases in others.
“While residential break-and-enters were down, shoplifting and break-and-enters into businesses were up,” he said.
“Sudden deaths were also down, however arsons and Mental Health Act occurrences were up.”
Bear said 5,276 calls for service were received during the three months compared to 5,424 calls for service in the same period in 2020; a decrease of 2.7 per cent.
He said the detachment noted that calls for service in the Cairnsmore/Government streets area decreased by 61 per cent this year; from 162 in the three months from April to June, to 88 during the three summer months.
“We did see that property crimes were up for the third quarter in the downtown Duncan area, and that was discussed with the Downtown Duncan BIA and City of Duncan officials,” he said.
According to the report, there were 16 arson cases in the third quarter of 2021 compared to eight during the same time last year; an increase of 100 per cent.
There were 53 cases of break-and-enter into businesses from July through September, compared to 29 last year; shoplifting cases are up to 89 compared to 42 last year; and mental health apprehensions under Section 28 jumped to 126 this year from 71 last year in the same time period.