While assaults with a weapon, arson and level one sexual assaults increased in Vernon last year, the city’s overall crime picture saw a decrease compared to statistics from 2021.
According to data from Statistics Canada released Thursday, July 27, Vernon saw a total of 6,471 violations in 2022, which is down 2.88 per cent from 2021. The latest numbers are a continuation of a downward trend since 2019, when there were 7,503 violations.
Vernon’s overall crime statistics are on par with the province, which saw a 2.44 decrease last year with a total of 432,920 violations.
There were 60 cases of level-one sexual assault in Vernon in 2022. That’s up roughly 20 per cent from 2021’s total of 49, and the second-highest total in the last five years behind the 65 cases recorded in 2019.
There was a significant spike in arson files with 66 recorded last year, up 20 per cent over 2021.
Vernon saw 174 assaults with a weapon or assaults causing bodily harm last year, up 20 per cent over 2021. There were also 413 level-one assaults, an increase of 16 per cent over 2021.
Assaults against a peace officer have stayed relatively stable over the last five years, with 24 cases in 2021 and 23 cases last year. There was a significant spike in arson files with 66 recorded last year, up 20 per cent over 2021.
Vernon also saw two homicides last year, up from zero in 2021 and one in 2020.
Property crime is often the biggest contributor to a municipality’s total crime numbers and in Vernon last year, there were 3,285 property crime files. That’s down 5.3 per cent from the 3,407 recorded in 2021.
Theft of more than $5,000 was up nearly five per cent last year, while theft under $5,000 stayed virtually the same with 1,522 cases in 2022.
There were 295 cases of fraud in Vernon last year, down 4.3 per cent from the previous year. Identity theft remained stable with 14 cases last year compared to 15 cases in 2021.