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Crime up 5 per cent in city

The Royal City has seen a five per cent increase in Criminal Code offences during the first three months of 2012. Those are the numbers from the April 17 regular police board meeting where Chief Const.

The Royal City has seen a five per cent increase in Criminal Code offences during the first three months of 2012.

Those are the numbers from the April 17 regular police board meeting where Chief Const. Dave Jones presented the monthly statistics for 2012 as compared to 2011.

While January saw an 11 per cent decrease in crimes committed - from 485 to 430 in January 2011 - both February and March saw increases, with February having the largest increase.

In February 2011, there were only 361 recorded offences, but in February 2012, that number ballooned to 470, or a 30 per cent increase.

In comparison, March was relatively flat, as there was only a two per cent increase, from 409 offences in March 2011, compared to 418 in March 2012.

Overall, 1,255 offences for the first three months of 2011 has risen five per cent to 1,318 total offences in the first three months of 2012.

Jones said March's numbers were "a noticeable improvement over last month's numbers," but the city may want to look at a new way of measuring its crime stats.

"These numbers don't take into account population change as the city grows," said Jones. "We have more people moving to Victoria Hill, to (the downtown), to Queensborough."

Jones said one alternative may be to look at crimes per a set population number, such as crimes per 100,000 people.

Jones also had his staff break down the numbers according to crime category.

The most noticeable drops are in breakand-enters and vehicle theft, where there's been a 20 per cent drop in break-and-enters during the first three months and 24 per cent in vehicle theft during the same period.

The biggest increase was in robberies, where the per-centage increase is 92 per cent, but the actual numbers are an increase from 12 robberies during the first three months of 2011 to 23 robberies in the same span in 2012.

"There's nothing in the stats that should cause any alarm," said Jones. "The city is doing a great job of attracting more people to the city."

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