Saanich police reported an increase in violent crimes and a drop in traffic incidents in the first three months of 2021 compared to the final quarter of 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)

Saanich police reported an increase in violent crimes and a drop in traffic incidents in the first three months of 2021 compared to the final quarter of 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)

Saanich police report increase in violent crimes during first quarter of 2021

More domestic violence, less property crime and distracted driving compared to end of 2020

Crime data released by the Saanich Police Department shows an increase in violent crimes and driving suspensions in the first quarter of 2021, and a drop in thefts from vehicles, distracted driving and crashes with injuries.

On May 11, Saanich police released a quarterly report to the community reflecting the crime and incident data from January through March 2021 compared to the numbers from the final quarter of 2020.

READ ALSO: West Saanich Road reopens after deadly morning crash

Compared to the previous quarter’s 117 violent crimes, Saanich saw 132 incidents – a 13 per cent increase – in the first three months of 2021. Assaults were down to 54 from 63, but robberies increased from four to seven, sexual assaults climbed from 20 to 24 and instances of domestic violence jumped from 30 to 47.

The number of violent crimes reported in Saanich in the first three months of 2021 went up nearly 13 per cent compared to the previous quarter with numbers rising from 117 in 2020 to 132 in 2021. (Graph courtesy of the Saanich Police Department)

Calls for non-criminal incidents were also up in the first quarter, with 2,148 calls for service compared to 2,135 in late 2020. Saanich police have seen 760 reports of suspicious individuals so far in 2021 compared to 700 in the previous quarter. Calls for assistance also went up from 719 to 810, and Mental Health Act calls were up to 168 from 150. Missing person reports dropped from 177 to 147 and calls related to animals decreased to 263 from 389.

In Saanich, non-criminal incidents increased from 2,135 in the fourth quarter of 2020 to 2,148 in early 2021. (Graph courtesy of the Saanich Police Department)

READ ALSO: Nearly 30 Saanich cars broken into in early November, most in Cordova Bay

Police reported a 38 per cent decrease in property and financial crimes in the first quarter as calls dropped from 564 in late 2020 to 283 in early 2021. In the three-month period, fraud reports dropped five per cent compared to 2020, bike thefts were down 44 per cent and break and enters were down 34 per cent from 68 to 45. According to police, a prolific offender who was targeting businesses in the municipality for property crimes was arrested by the street crime unit.

A 55 per cent drop in thefts from vehicles from 211 to 96 was also noted in the report.

Saanich police saw a 38 per cent decrease in property and financial crimes in the first quarter of 2021 with incidents dropping from 456 in late 2020 to 283. (Graph courtesy of the Saanich Police Department)

READ ALSO: More than half of Saanich’s 10 worst intersections include McKenzie Avenue

Traffic incidents were also down 19 per cent this quarter. Saanich saw motor vehicle incidents with injuries drop 36 per cent from 78 in late 2020 to 50 in early 2021, impaired driving incidents go down from 47 to 44 and 30 per cent fewer distracted driving occurrences as reports went from 111 to 79.

Saanich police reported that traffic incidents went down 19 per cent in the first quarter of 2021 with 297 incidents compared to 241 in the final quarter of 2020. (Graph courtesy of the Saanich Police Department)

Traffic suspensions, however, were up 10 per cent from 61 in late 2020 to 67 in early 2021. More than 580 electronic tickets were issued in the first quarter of 2021 by patrol officers.

Police also responded to one fatal collision on West Saanich Road on Feb. 4. None were reported between October and December 2020.

The total number of calls to the Saanich police went down four per cent, with 6,972 in the first three months of 2021 and 7,264 in the last three months of 2020.

Do you have a story tip? Email:

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Saanich Police Department

Just Posted

Norman Mogensen sets up strings for his beans in his plot in the Oak Bay community gardens. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay gardener spends decades cultivating, improving daddy’s beans

85-year-old vegan part of the community gardens scene

Theatre SKAM is offering mobile, pop-up performances to Greater Victoria residents once again this summer. They’ll feature emerging artists Yasmin D’Oshun, Courtney Crawford, Kaelan Bain and Kendra Bidwell (left to right). (Courtesy of Theatre SKAM)
Theatre performances can be ordered to Greater Victoria front yards this summer

Theatre SKAM offering mobile, pop-up performances once again

Diana Durrand and Arlene Nesbitt celebrate the new artist space in 2014. Gage Gallery moves this summer from Oak Bay to Bastion Square in Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Gage Gallery moving to Bastion Square

Vivid Connections, a showcase by Laura Feeleus and Elizabeth Carefoot, opens new venue June 29

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The Victoria woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Days after students’ return to Victoria High School was delayed by a year, the province has announced some amenities that will be included in the school’s expansion project. (Photo by Cole Descoteau)
Child-care spots, artificial turf field, non-profit space included in Vic High expansion

SD61 now aims to welcome students back at the high school by September 2023

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Most Read