Vancouver Police today released crime statistics for 2017 for Vancouver, which show a decrease in the overall crime rate by 1.5 per cent over the previous year. The data also shows a decrease in most types of property crime, but an increase in incidents involving theft from motor vehicles.

“Theft from motor vehicles continues to be an issue in Vancouver, especially downtown. We saw an increase of 1.6 per cent in 2017 over the previous year,” says Constable Jason Doucette, VPD spokesperson. “While we’ll continue to target offenders, drivers can help by simply not leaving anything visible in their vehicles. If thieves can see it, they’re more likely to steal it.”

Overall, the property crime rate is down almost two per cent in 2017 over 2016, ending five consecutive years of increases. Break-ins to businesses and residences were significantly reduced by close to 18 per cent in 2017 over the previous year. When comparing the numbers for the last ten years, the property crime rate is actually down 3.2 percentage points.

As for violent crime, the overall rate was up 1.9 per cent in 2017 over 2016, but the 10-year trend is showing an overall decrease. Homicides were up from 12 in 2016 to 19 in 2017, and shots-fired incidents increased to 31 in 2017 from 26 the previous year. Bank robberies were down from 68 in 2016 to 52 in 2017, and sexual offences saw an increase of two per cent.

In 2017, mental health apprehensions under section 28 of the Mental Health Act dropped to 2,790 from 2,822 the year before.

“We continue to work alongside health professionals in integrated teams, like the Assertive Community Treatment Team and the Assertive Outreach Team, to connect people with resources,” adds Doucette. “Further, through Car 87 – which pairs a psychiatric nurse with a police officer – we are able to effectively respond to crisis situations. We’re committed to providing people living with mental illness the help that they need.”

Fatal motor vehicle collisions were also down, from 15 in 2016 to 13 in 2017.