By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: April.6, 2013
At first glance, the increase in the number of sexual assaults cases within one year is startling.
In 2012, there were 18 cases of sexual assaults registered in Squamish, compared to only four in 2011.
But the numbers alone don’t afford a fuller picture of why the cases went up.
The assaults are up because of an incident that happened several years ago but was reported only last year.
“The complaints came in recently, and one file led to another file and one victim to the other victim,” RCMP Insp. Neil Cross told the council.
Coun. Patricia Heintzman said the numbers of sexual assault increase could give a misleading impression to the community, but she was reassured by the police officials it wasn’t the case.
Cross said the file was generated from an incident that happened a few years ago, in which some ‘kids and adults’ were involved.
“There is no predator going around attacking people,” he told the council.
Last week, provincial court also sentenced a Squamish man to jail for having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old teen.
Russell Lamb, 24, pleaded guilty to sexual interference of a person under 16 and communicating via computer to lure a child under 18.
For violent crime in Squamish, there was a 6.56 per cent increase, even though robbery and assault cases were down.
Business break-in and entry, however, remain high, and shows even a slight uptick from last year. There were 79 businesses in town that were broken into last year, one more than 2011.
The RCMP Inspector said the bait car program has resulted in reduction of vehicle thefts, from 50 to 31.
Thefts from vehicles, however, show a 53 per cent increase in one year.
In 2011, there were 169 cases of theft from vehicles, while this year, there were 259 cases of vehicle from thefts.
Shannon Falls led the case files, with 16 cases reported in the six month period from July to December.
Squamish Chief parking lot closely followed with eight cases in the same six month period.
Bicycle thefts were concentrated in downtown Squamish, and Garibaldi Estates.
The neighborhood around Tantalus Road in the estates, and Second and Third Ave in downtown were bike thefts hotspots in 2012.
Cross said mental health, homelessness and addictions, staff training and development, and complexity of law are some of the challenges the detachment faces.