Sex offences in the Cowichan Valley were up 60 per cent during April through June compared to the same period last year, according to a RCMP report.
The quarterly report, covering activities at the 62-member Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment for the three months of spring this year and written by Insp. Chris Bear, was presented at the City of Duncan’s council meeting on Aug. 16.
Bear said there were 32 sex offences in the Valley over the three months, a jump of 12 from the same period last year, but didn’t give any more details about the cases in the report.
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Overall, Bear reported that the local RCMP received 5,353 calls for service in the quarter, up from 4,486 last year, which is a 19.3 per cent increase.
Other significant increases were shoplifting cases, which went up 43 per cent from last year, and motor vehicle collisions with injuries, which saw a jump of 38 per cent.
But Bear said, on average, crimes against property saw a 16 per cent decrease from last year, and impaired driving cases were down by 29 per cent compared to 2020.
He said that in the first six months of this year, from Jan. 1 to June 30, approximately 46 per cent of the calls the detachment responded to were from North Cowichan Policing jurisdiction, 23 per cent came from the Duncan, 14 per cent originated came from Cowichan Tribes/Indigenous Lands, 11 per cent from the Cowichan Valley Regional District, and six per cent were reported directly to the detachment.
“In keeping with the prime minister’s commitment made in June, 2020, and as part of a broader strategy to enhance transparency, trust and confidence, the RCMP will be rolling out body-worn cameras in 2021/22,” Bear said.
“To meet this requirement, the RCMP is equipping all its officers who have operational interactions with the public with a body-worn camera while on duty,” he said.
“The cameras are intended to capture an accurate unbiased and reliable audio/video account of incidents involving uniformed police. The aim of the cameras is to increase transparency and accountability for both police and public, and to strengthen trust.”