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Delta crimes down, but call waits a concern

The DPD notes that a low CSI rate is indicative of a relatively safe community
The DPD’s community-first policing approach remains at the forefront of the department’s efforts, says Dubord. Delta Optimist file

Incidents of property crime and violent crime are both down in the City of Delta.

That’s according to the Delta Police Department’s (DPD) latest crime data for the first quarter of 2024.

The Community Safety and Well-Being Plan’s Crime Severity Index (CSI) says that commercial break and enters have decreased by 23 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2023 and by 14 per cent compared to the three-year average.

Residential break and enters dropped by 20 per cent compared to last year and by 26 per cent compared to the three-year average, while instances of theft of vehicles decreased by 42 per cent compared to last year and by 25 per cent compared to the three-year average.

Among the other statistics, assaults in the first quarter of this year decreased to 80 from 107 during the same period last year, while robberies saw a significant reduction from nine to two.

However, intimate partner violence reports had an increase of 19 per cent compared to the three-year average.

During the Delta Police Board’s meeting this week, Chief Neil Dubord talked about the latest numbers, noting there have also been no complaints lodged against DPD officers requiring municipal investigation, even though they have thousands of interactions with the public.

He added it speaks to the professionalism of the department's front-line offers.

Deputy Chief Harj Sidhu said one particular area of concern is wait times for Priority 1 calls. Those calls are typically made to 911 and answered and processed by E-Comm. He said dispatch times are taking approximately three minutes, a situation that will continue to be monitored.

Dubord also discussed a proposal to introduce a cell phone levy to provide E-Comm the necessary funding to deal with the increase in both the volume and complexity of emergency calls.

Suggesting a charge of $1 or $2, Dubord said the BC Association of Chiefs of Police (BCACP) has put forward the proposal to the provincial government.

A recent letter by the BCACP to Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, stated it is imperative to explore and establish a stable funding mechanism to support E-Comm’s operations.

However, the response from the province was that it is only open to further research.