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Fewer thefts, more assaults and mental health calls: How Coquitlam RCMP is responding to the latest crime trends

More police patrols and a new officer to handle mental health calls among the ways Coquitlam RCMP are dealing with a rise in shootings, mental health calls and assaults
Coquitlam RCMP handed out an average of nearly one COVID-19 ticket a day in April 2021, compared to an average of one every 10 days in the first 12 months of the pandemic.

Coquitlam RCMP is responding to an increase in assaults, gun violence and mental health calls with more boots on the ground and targeted community efforts, a new report suggests.

Monday (June 21), Insp. Andrew Martin presented his first trimester report to Coquitlam council detailing the latest crime trends in the city.

According to the report, property crimes dropped 17% between January and April compared to the three year average while “person crimes” increased 16%, with many files requiring more specialized investigative techniques.

Police say about 44% of these “person crimes” are assaults, and in many cases the victim and suspect know each other. As well, sex offences increased slightly by three files — from 35 to 38 — over the period.


While property crimes appear to have trended lower, there were still more than 900 files created over the period, as follows:

• Theft from vehicle: 321

• Shoplifting: 250

• Fraud: 165

• Break and enter (business): 69

• Break and enter (residence): 75

• Theft of vehicle: 47

Statistics regarding gun violence were not broken out for the report, however, in his summary, Insp. Martin noted Coquitlam is not alone in dealing with a recent upsurge in gang-related violence.

“Consistent with many municipalities across the Metro Vancouver region, recently, our community has seen an increase in gun violence. The majority of this activity stems from a larger regional concern related to the lower mainland gang conflict,” he notes.


In the event of a shooting, the Coquitlam RCMP deploys an 11-person Major Crime Unit to investigate these “serious concerns,” as well as historical homicides, suspicious sudden deaths, attempted murders, kidnapping/abductions/forcible confinement and extortions, the report adds.

The unit works with the Major Crime Unit, general duty and the Uniformed Crime Reduction Unit (UCRU) to bring “those responsible before the courts.”

UCRU members are also doing increased patrols, Insp. Martin said, to ensure the community remains “one of the safest places in the Lower Mainland.”

In recent weeks there was a spate of shootings in Coquitlam, including two fatalities:

• Aali Hussain, 42, (May 22, Maillardville )

• Bailey McKinney, 20, (April 19, Town Centre Park)

There have been four additional high-profile shootings in Coquitlam, which police called “unprecedented” at the time.

Coquitlam RCMP are also dealing with a 10% increase in mental health calls, — as many as 426 in the first four months of the year, compared to 387 over a three year average.

However, police are waiting in hospital less — 94 minutes, compared to 109 minutes— and just 45 files took longer than two hours in the hospital, compared to a three-year average of 61.

Still, police are increasing their resources to handle the surge in calls by hiring a new constable and are working with partners, including Fraser Health, to improve how mental health calls are dealt with.

Also, if you got ticketed in the past couple of months, you are not alone.

RCMP handed out nearly 1,000 speeding tickets and another 241 tickets to distracted drivers as part of increased road safety efforts.