Communication and accountability are among contributing factors for a decline in property crime in Sidney, says the head of the local RCMP detachment. (Courtesy of Sidney/North Saanich RCMP)

Communication and accountability are among contributing factors for a decline in property crime in Sidney, says the head of the local RCMP detachment. (Courtesy of Sidney/North Saanich RCMP)

Sidney witnessed ‘significant fluctuations’ in crime over 2020 according to top cop

Staff-Sgt. Wayne Conley lauds decline in property crime

Communication and accountability are among contributing factors for a decline in property crimes in Sidney, says the head of the local RCMP detachment.

Staff-Sgt. Wayne Conley offered that assessment when asked about figures showing property crimes dropped 22 per cent in Sidney in 2020 compared to 2019.

Property crimes include commercial, residential and other break-and-enters, possession of stolen property, mischief, theft of vehicle, theft from vehicle, arson and fraud.

The 2020 figure of 275 offences appears “well below” the five-year average of 322 offences, according to the report. Local police opened 354 files in 2019, 338 in 2018, 350 in 2017, 263 files in 2016 and 305 in 2015.

RELATED: Sidney records highest number of property crimes in six years

“With the business issues, we are working closely with the (Sidney Business Improvement Area Society),” he said. “There is good messaging that goes out through our community policing officer about any trends or when we see things happening. And we are also trying to hold offenders, when they are apprehended, accountable.”

Conley also praised members of the public for changing their personal behaviours in curtailing property crimes, pointing to a recent incident that saw a suspect break into a dozen vehicles in the neighbourhood that includes Lochside Drive, Weiler Avenue and Orchard Avenue.

“Of the number of vehicles that were entered, the majority of the vehicles did not have a theft occur because people were not leaving valuables in their vehicles,” he said.

“It was really rewarding. We would love to see people leave their vehicles locked, but at least the vehicles didn’t have significant thefts from them. Unfortunately, on that same spree, the suspect was successful in finding a wallet and debit card that led to fraud.”

RELATED: Sidney/North Saanich RCMP responded to more mental health calls during COVID-19 pandemic

Turning to break-and-enters, Conley said it is more difficult to discern the reasons for the significant declines in commercial and residential break-and-enters. Factors may include the presence of cameras and other security devices, as well as the physical presence of people, he said.

Overall, 2020 will go down as a year of shifts across the detachment’s area of responsibility.

“Over time, until this past year, we haven’t seen such significant fluctuations in crime,” he said. “There tends to be a fair amount of consistency. But this past year, we saw a significant downward trend in property crime (and) a shift upward in (crimes against persons).”


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

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

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Saanich Peninsula

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner’s report confirms cause of death of three men at Sooke River in 2020

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen drown while ‘puddle-jumping’ in pickup truck

File
The Pacheedaht First Nation is planning a $1-million expansion to its campground in Port Renfrew. (Pixabay photo)
Expanded camping announced for Pacheedaht Campground

$1-million project is part of the B.C. Rural Economic Recovery program

Sooke Road will be down to a single lane Thursday night while crews work on a water main connection. (Pixabay stock image)
Sooke Road down to single lane for water main connection

Night work scheduled for Thursday, early Friday morning

Soloman and Zev Nagler enjoy time on the beach at Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park on a summer day. The Capital Regional District is in the process of determining whether to institute parking fees at this and eight other CRD parks. (Black Press Media file photo)
CRD parks committee rejects new Greater Victoria parking fees – again

More arguments against fee hikes, pay parking at nine parks, brought forward by committee members

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

Nanaimo-raised singer Allison Crowe with director Zack Snyder on the set of ‘Man of Steel’ in 2011. Crowe performs a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah in the upcoming director’s cut of ‘Justice League.’ (Photo courtesy Clay Enos)
Island-raised musician records song for upcoming ‘Justice League’ film

Allison Crowe’s rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah closes out the movie

A 50-year-old man was stabbed in an altercation that started with a disagreement about physical distancing. (File photo)
Argument about physical distancing escalates to stabbing in Nanaimo

Victim, struck with coffee cup and then stabbed, suffers minor injuries; suspect arrested

A battery electric-hybrid ferry, pictured here, is expected to make its way to Vancouver Island in late 2021, says B.C. Ferries. (Submitted photo)
Hybrid ferry for Gabriola-Nanaimo route launches in shipyard in Europe

Two hybrid vessels to replace MV Quinsam by early 2022, says B.C. Ferries

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

‘“We will vote to keep the government going’

The Port of Nanaimo has signed a 50-year-agreement with DP World around short-sea shipping operations at Duke Point Terminal. (News Bulletin file photo)
Lease ‘important first step’ in $105-million Nanaimo port expansion project

Port of Nanaimo and DP World sign 50-year shipping operations agreement for Duke Point

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

Most Read