Vancouver police data shows theft from vehicles, sex offences surged in 2018

New data released by the Vancouver Police Department shows violent crime decreased by a slim margin in Vancouver last year, but vehicle-related theft and reports of sexual offences surged.

Global News

The data on crimes committed in Vancouver in 2018, released Thursday, shows a dramatic increase in theft from motor vehicles in the city — which rose by 16.2 per cent from the previous year. Theft from motor vehicles made up more than a third of all property crimes last year, at 35 per cent.

“This is a completely preventable crime,” said media relations officer Sgt. Jason Robillard in a statement. “We are asking residents of Vancouver and visitors to the city to not leave anything visible inside their vehicles — if you do, it will get stolen.”

The data also shows a decrease in violent crime — though, by a small percentage. The violent crime rate decreased 0.2 per cent in 2018 from the previous year: with 15 culpable homicides in the city in 2018, compared to 19 culpable homicides in 2017.

The year of the #MeToo movement also saw a spike in reports of a type of crime that often goes underreported: sexual offences. However, not all of the sex-related offences that were reported in 2018 actually occurred during the year in which they were recorded.

Vancouver police say that while 640 sexual offences were reported in 2018, only 508 of those actually occurred in the calendar year. They said 21.4 per cent of the sexual offences reported in 2018 occurred in previous years.

Also, 911 calls decreased slightly from 2017 to 2018 — dropping 0.9 per cent, as 265,653 calls for service were made last year, compared to 267,937 the year prior.

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