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Residential break-ins have risen 115.3% this year over 2020, data shows

Crime data for September was presented during the recent Board of Police Commissioners meeting.
home invasion break in AdobeStock_361568791
Residential break-ins in Moose Jaw have jumped 115.3 per cent this year compared to 2020, which police say is due to fewer people being at home now than during the first few months of the pandemic in 2020. File photo

Residential break-ins have increased 115.3 per cent this year compared to 2020, which police attribute to fewer people being at home because of less severe pandemic restrictions than last year. 

As of Sept. 30, there were 127 incidents of residential break-and-enters in Moose Jaw, compared to 59 incidents during the same time last year and 91 incidents by September 2019, statistical data shows. This jump is part of an overall rise in crimes against property that police have seen this year. 

One reason for fewer residential break-ins by this time last year was because the community was “in the crux of the pandemic” when public health restrictions limited people going anywhere, explained Supt. Devon Oleniuk during the recent Board of Police Commissioners meeting.  
“Criminals don’t break into people’s homes when they’re home. They usually wait for vacancies to occur,” he said. “So, when you go back to 2020, obviously a lot more people were home than what we’re experiencing now … (but) any increase in break-and-enter into homes is a big invasion of people’s privacy, and it’s not healthy.”

Year-to-date, the data for 2021 versus 2020 show:

  • Break-ins (business, residential, other): 239 / 190
  • Motor vehicle theft: 48 / 64
  • Theft over $5,000: 10 / 8
  • Theft under $5,000: 515 / 414
  • Arson: 10 / 13
  • Mischief under $5,000: 273 / 280

Year-to-date, total crimes against property have been 1,095 incidents compared to 969 incidents by Sept. 30 of last year, an increase of 13 per cent.

While property crimes are up this year, crimes against people have declined, continuing a pattern police have seen almost the entire year. 

The Moose Jaw Police Service responded to 56 calls about crimes against people in September, compared to 41 such calls last September, data for last month shows. Year-to-date, police have responded to 409 such calls, compared to 429 incidents during the same period last year. 

Overall, this is a decline of 4.7 per cent.

“Month to month is just snapshots. We track long-term with trends,” said Police Chief Rick Bourassa. “And then each year, Statistics Canada releases its crime statistics report on the nation and allow us to compare with other cities.”

Year-to-date, the data for 2021 versus 2020 show:

  • Attempted murder: 2 / 3
  • Assaults (sexual, common, with a weapon, aggravated, against police): 230 / 216
  • Robbery: 3 / 8
  • Threats: 41 / 78
  • Domestic disputes: 133 / 124

Meanwhile, other data shows:

  • Impaired driving: 99 / 73
  • Failing to comply with court orders: 592 / 609
  • Pandemic-related offences: 82 / 86
  • Vehicle collisions over $1,000: 152 / 160
  • Provincial liquor infractions: 138 / 105
  • Summary offence tickets: 1,373 / 976

The next Board of Police Commissioners meeting is Tuesday, Nov. 9.