Aside from a spike in impaired driving cases, the crime rate in Port Moody was relatively stable in 2022, according to a release from the Port Moody Police Department.
Port Moody cops took the car keys away from 209 drivers who were suspected to be impaired in 2022. In 2021, police took 104 impaired drivers off the road.
Police also recorded more incidents of extortion and harassment, with 108 reports in 2022, an eight percent increase from 2021. The number of reported assaults dipped from 87 in 2021 to 80 in 2022.
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While there was a decrease in thefts from vehicles, police logged a year-over-year increase in fraud – which ticked up from 104 to 123, as well as residential break and enters – which rose from 20 to 24.
Overall, the department’s officers went out on 6,778 calls in 2022 – a 4.7 percent dip from 2021.
“Though there are some increases in certain types of crime, these numbers are consistent with pre-pandemic levels and remain well below provincial and national averages,” Port Moody Police Department Chief Constable Dave Fleugel stated in a press release.
Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody have seen sizable reductions in both violent and non-violent crime rates over a 23 year period from the late 1990s to 2021, according to data released by Statistics Canada.
Speaking to the Dispatch recently, Simon Fraser University criminology professor Martin Andresen explained the trend is evident in many countries.
“We’ve been having a crime drop going on in the western world . . . for upwards of 30 years,” he said.
One exception is a recent rise in hate crimes.
Amid crimes ranging from violent assaults to graffiti, and threats, police-reported hate crimes rose about 72 percent from 2019 to 2021, according to a report released by B.C.’s Human Rights Commissioner.
The majority of police departments have policies on investigating hate incidents, according to the report, “except for the Port Moody Police Department and the Metro Vancouver Transit Police,” the report stated.
However, that may be changing, according to PMPD Sgt. Fraser Renard.
“It is our intention to create a policy as we are in the midst of a multi-year policy renewal project for all department policies, and this important subject is on our radar,” Renard wrote to the Dispatch.
The department is also shifting toward online crime reporting for less serious crimes, which should “facilitate and encourage crime reporting,” according to a release from Port Moody Police Department.