Regina’s Police Chief Evan Bray led the board of police commissioners through the year-to-date crime stats on Tuesday and it seems the coronavirus pandemic could be the driving force behind declining property crime rates.
He said more people out of work or working from home could explain the 20 per cent year-to-date decrease in residential break-and-enters.
Overall crimes against property saw a 35 per cent decrease compared to last year which includes things like theft, auto theft and break-and-enters.
“We are seeing an increase or we did in the early parts of the year in break-and-enters to businesses which again could be tied to the fact that businesses were closed during the spring and early summer,” Bray said.
While overall crime is down 30 per cent, Bray said Regina is seeing an increase in what he calls social challenges.
Things like domestic conflict, overdoses and mental health calls, including suicide and attempted suicide.
“While we’ve dropped off in some of the more traditional crime statistics and crime categories I think we’ve sadly seen an increase in some of the other ones that are deeply woven into these social issues,” Bray said.
Other crimes like arson did see an increase, and Bray said officers laid charges in most of those incidents.
As for the social challenges, Bray said it comes down to working with community partners in order to make a difference long term.