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Coquitlam's crime rate lower than Port Coquitlam's last year: RCMP

The RCMP document, which went before Coquitlam's committee-in-council on Monday (March 6), shows the crime rate at 47 offences per 1,000 residents versus 54/1,000 in PoCo.

Coquitlam is one of the safest cities in the Lower Mainland to live, the acting RCMP superintendent said this week in revealing the detachment’s year-end report.

The 2022 document, which went before the city’s committee-in-council on Monday (March 6), shows the crime rate at 47 offences per 1,000 residents — a drop of six points over 2019.

That compares with neighbouring Port Coquitlam, which shares a detachment with Coquitlam, where that city’s rate was 54 crimes per 1,000 people last year.

The acting officer-in-charge, Insp. Darren Carr, said property crimes such as theft from vehicles, shoplifting and mischief to property bumped up slightly (4.3 per cent) last year in Coquitlam.

Now, Carr said, Mounties are focusing on prolific offenders, especially for break and enters and catalytic converter thefts.

As well, police are patrolling shopping centres and business districts in Coquitlam to prevent retail pinchers.

Carr said traffic tickets went down last year; however, that was due to the number of vacancies at the detachment.

The traffic unit is now back on track, he said, and has three new handheld lasers for speed enforcement — thanks to a $30,000 grant from the city.

Recently, the traffic unit started a HAZE (High Accident Zone Enforcement) campaign at intersections with high-crash volumes.

Still, while the crime files are largely down, Carr said the number of mental health-related calls has skyrocketed — mostly due to clients leaving the Red Fish Healing Centre for Mental Health and Addiction on the former Riverview Lands, now known as səmiq̓ʷəʔelə.

In total, RCMP received 1,652 calls last year for missing people in Coquitlam.

“Limited resources and processes to address mental health/addiction issues in our region has resulted in an increased demand for police to act as first responders to mental health-related calls for service,” he wrote.

“The detachment is working closely with Red Fish Healing Centre, Fraser Health Authority and the Province of British Columbia to increase supports for mental health in the community.”

As well, the trend for person offences continues to rise, from 1,131 files in 2019 to 1,395 in 2022:

  • assaults: 45%
  • utter threats: 21%
  • harassment: 16%
  • sex offences: 8%
  • extortion: 4%
  • robbery: 3%
  • weapons: 2%
  • homicide: 1%

Meanwhile, Carr thanked council for adding five more Mounties in this year’s budget; the committee offered no comment to his year-end report.

The Coquitlam RCMP’s new five-year strategic plan, which Coquitlam council adopted last year, focuses on four key areas:

  • partner with the community
  • promote public safety
  • target criminal activity
  • support our people

For 2023, its priorities include the opening of the Burquitlam community police office, by the new YMCA; publishing a property crime dashboard; and implementing softphone technology for the first phase of Next Generation 911.

Last year, policing cost Coquitlam taxpayers $30.9 million, including integrated policing units and factoring in vacancy savings.


SOUND OFF: Do you feel that crime has dropped in Coquitlam since the COVID-19 pandemic started? Send your letter to [email protected].