Chilliwack crime stats inch upward

Crime seems to be on the rise in Chilliwack, based on numbers released by Stats Canada this week.

Crime seems to be on the rise in Chilliwack, based on numbers released by Stats Canada this week.

The numbers released reflect the year 2014, and include five years of reporting to keep the numbers in context. Of the five years reported, 2014 had the highest incidence rate, with 8,904 separate violations (excluding traffic violations). That’s equal to a 5.76 per cent increase from the previous year.

The total number of people charged with criminal offenses was also at a five year high of 929, up from 854 the previous year but close to the 2011 total of 916. Of those charged, 68 were youth ages 12 to 17, slightly lower than the 74 charged in 2011.

But in the face of what seems like rising crime, Stats Canada reports that Chilliwack’s violent crime per capita is slightly decreased, .29% from 2013 to 2014. There were 1,082 actual violent crime incidents, 320 adults charged with violent crime, and 33 youth.

The list, available on the Government of Canada website, breaks down rates for each violation of the Criminal Code. In 2008, they began adding sexual violations against children, making it one of the newest available statistics.

There were 16 incidents of sexual violations against children in Chilliwack in 2014, up from 10 the previous, but slightly down from 19 and 20 in the prior three years. Seven people were charged in those incidents, all adults.

Break and entering charges remained fairly steady compared to previous years, with 724 actual reported incidents. A five year low of 37 adults were charged (same as 2011), but the number of youth charged for break and entering jumped from a scant few every year, to seven in 2014.

“We experienced a slight increase in reported crime rates, and crime severity,” said Cpl. Mike Rail. “This was due to an increase in reports of theft of $5,000 or under, breaking and entering and theft of motor vehicle.  We are continuing to work with our key partners on a wide variety of initiatives to prevent crime.”