Inspector Eric Rochette is the new officer in charge of the Port Alberni RCMP. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

Domestic violence on the rise in Port Alberni during COVID-19 pandemic

Property crime is down ‘significantly’ for the quarter

Reports of domestic violence have gone up “drastically” in the City of Port Alberni since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, according to the city’s officer in charge.

Port Alberni RCMP Insp. Eric Rochette presented the city’s second quarter policing statistics during a meeting of city council on Monday, July 27. These statistics cover the months of April to June.

One of Rochette’s biggest concerns was the increase in domestic violence reports. This year, there were 28 calls related to domestic violence from April to June, compared to only 14 calls in the same quarter last year.

“That’s a 100 percent increase,” said Rochette. “If you compare that number to the last four years, it’s a fairly high number.”

He said the increase could be explained in different ways. A change in crime reporting across Canada took effect last year, which has led to an increase in the number of files reported to Statistics Canada. However, Rochette also believes the COVID-19 pandemic and social isolation may have contributed to the increase in domestic violence.

“What happened with COVID has been an issue for sure,” Rochette added. “We’re working hard with our stakeholders, as well as the domestic violence officer at the detachment, to pinpoint the reason calls have gone up so drastically.”

Mayor Sharie Minions said on Monday that she was “concerned” by the number of domestic violence calls.

“So many people being kind of isolated in their homes, without the resources that they normally have,” Minions said. “I’m happy to hear the RCMP is honed in on this and really understands the significance of it.”

Outside of domestic violence calls, Rochette said that criminal offences are down by 16 percent compared to the same quarter last year. Most property crime has gone down “significantly,” said Rochette, with break and enters down by 66 percent. Meanwhile, mischief to property, or vandalism, is up by 13 percent.

The Port Alberni RCMP announced on Monday that the detachment is now open to the public again. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only three people will be allowed in the lobby at a time.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Port AlberniRCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The First Nations language pole project, underway in Port Alberni, has been stalled due to lack of funding. Artist Tim Paul can occasionally be seen working on the project behind a fence at the Maritime Discovery Centre. (JERRY FEVENS PHOTO/ Special to the News)
Port Alberni’s First Nations language pole suffers another setback

First Nations Education Foundation still looking for funding for a final push

A screenshot from the virtual all-candidates meeting on Monday, Oct. 19 hosted by the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce. (SCREENSHOT)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Mid Island-Pacific Rim candidates weigh in on forestry, tourism, LNG

For the first time ever, Alberni Valley Chamber hosted a virtual all-candidates’ meeting

NIC and other schools will provide information on program pathways, partnership agreements and tips for transfer students. File photo
Vancouver Island colleges, universities host virtual tours

The tour includes representatives from North Island College

Crew members with the Western Canadian Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) deploy a containment boom from one of their workboats during a fuel spill drill in Alberni Harbour on Oct. 15, 2020. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni WCMRC team learns the spill drill

Spill response members simulates fuel spill for practice in Alberni Harbour

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Nanaimo RCMP are asking for the public’s assistance in locating Michael Leighton, who is wanted on 11 warrants on Vancouver Island and is a suspect in a recent break, enter and theft in Nanaimo. (Photos submitted)
RCMP looking for break-and-enter suspect with 11 warrants on the Island

Nanaimo RCMP say Michael Leighton a suspect in theft of pistol and $40,000 worth of coins

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of decades-old plane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear kills llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

Bernard Trest and his son Max, 10, are concerned about B.C.’s plan for students in the classroom. He was one of two fathers who filed a court application in August to prevent schools from reopening if stricter COVID-19 protections weren’t in place. That application was dismissed last week. (Contributed photo)
B.C. dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

Most Read