Criminal offences in Abbotsford dropped six per cent overall in 2010 compared to the previous year, according to the year-end statistical report released Tuesday by the Abbotsford Police Department (APD).
The report lists 9,636 criminal code offences last year, compared to 10,206 in 2009.
Decreases were noted in every category except six of the 25 listed. Among the most significant were attempted murder (down 100 per cent), homicides (56 per cent), business break-ins (38 per cent) and robbery (26 per cent).
The areas that experienced an increase over 2009 were “other” crimes against property (up 44 per cent), fraud (11 per cent), residential break-in (nine per cent), firearms/explosives (five per cent), assault with weapon (three per cent) and other miscellaneous criminal offences (two per cent).
Deputy Chief Rick Lucy said the hike in other crimes against property (OCAP) is an indication that police shifted resources to higher-priority concerns.
OCAP offences include vandalism or break-ins to structures other than homes and businesses – for example, sheds, barns and other outbuildings.
Lucy said thefts from these buildings usually involve smaller items and do not present the same safety risk as a home or business break-in.
“If you have to make decisions on a priority level of the three types of break-and-enters, we’re least worried about those,” he said.
He acknowledged police “failed” in the area of home break-ins last year, but said steps have been taken in 2011 to address the problem.
Police now keep closer track of individuals in the area who have a history of such offences and, when a break-in is reported, they are more readily able to identify potential suspects.
So far this year, such offences are down eight per cent, compared to the same period in 2010.
Lucy said one area that police are thrilled about is the drop in the homicide and attempted murder rates from ‘09 to ‘10.
In 2009, Abbotsford recorded 11 murders, with eight of them linked to gangs and/or drugs. Last year, there were four murders, with two being connected to drugs or gangs.
Lucy said the efforts of the gang suppression unit played a big role in the decrease, with one of their tactics being the disruption of violent crime.
So far this year, there have been no murders or attempted murders.
Criminal Code offences in Abbotsford have dropped 28 per cent overall from 2007 to 2010, according to the report.