Property crimes have jumped by 45% in the City of Port Alberni as shoplifting and thefts from sheds are the most frequent complaints.
Local RCMP Officer in charge Brian Hunter says criminals are getting kicked out of other cities and are coming here, and has urged crown counsel and judges to impose similar conditions.
He says many people with drug addictions and mental health issues have been coming to Port Alberni partly because of a wealth of services here, but are stealing to feed their addictions.
Insp. Hunter says police and courts try to get them into rehabilitation programs, but most often they’re released from jail only to go straight back to drugs and crime.
He said Port Alberni has the highest per capita overdose death rate on the island, which is a further indication of the problems here.
Criminal offenses were up 16%, and total crime up 29% between April and June compared with the same period last year.
He said a few people continue to be responsible for a large share of the offenses, and police are targetting them as part of a crime reduction strategy.