Whistler RCMP presents 2014 annual stats 

Domestic crime rates on the rise

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Whistler's annual crime stats were presented to council Tuesday night and while the numbers on the whole looked good compared to last year — break and enters down, bike and auto theft down, frauds down — there is one stat that continues to stick out.

Domestic violence was up 22 per cent from 40 reports in 2013 to 49 reports last year.

"In regard to domestic violence, it's a challenge for sure," said Inspector Neil Cross who presented to council along with Staff Sergeant Steve LeClair.

The numbers alone may not tell the whole story. Reporting of domestic violence may be on the increase as opposed to actual assaults, which can skew the stats.

About half of the 49 cases in 2014 were from visitors, the other half from residents. Four or five of those were repeat cases.

The five-year average (from 2009-2013) is 26 cases

"It's up considerably from the five-year average of 26," said Cross, of the 49 reports last year.

LeClair also highlighted the fact that many young people live together in Whistler, forced together in some cases out of necessity — rents are high, rooms are scare.

That is some of the demographic involved in these reports.

If the police attended 49 cases of domestic violence, there were called out to 100 more incidents where they attended, but no assault had taken place.

On the flip side, there is some good news to be found in the 2014 police stats.

Total property crime decreased in the past year from 869 reports in 2013 to 619.

Possession of cannabis cases, over 30 grams and under, were also down but cocaine and ecstasy reports were up. Possession of ecstasy went from zero cases to four year over year, while cocaine increased from 13 to 26 cases.

Cross pointed out, however, that the RCMP has been targeting certain known hangouts in 2014, which explains the 100 per cent increase in cocaine cases.

In total there were 412 charges laid last year — up 14 per cent from the 361 charges laid in 2013.

There were more Priority 1 calls too — up 18 per cent from 294 to 349.

Overall calls for service were down slightly to 5,555.

LeClair also took the opportunity to update council on statistics from New Year's Eve.

"New Year's Eve seems to be not so much of an issue anymore," said LeClair.

Typically, the night can be handled with local resources, beefed up a little with incremental police.

There were 42 calls for service on New Year's this year, roughly on par with last year.

There were 16 prisoners held in the cell overnight, up slightly over previous years. They were held mostly for liquor-related issues; most were young people, kept overnight in jail until police could call their parents to pick them up in the morning.

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