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Violent crime on the rise in Durham

According to police officials, violent crime is up 16 per cent in Durham this year.

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

Violent crime was on the rise in Durham Region during the first few months of this year.

During a presentation to the region’s police services board, deputy chief Todd Rollauer said the first quarter of 2019 saw a 16 per cent increase in violent crime compared to the same time last year.

Overall, there were 156 more incidents of violent crime between January and April.

The increase is credited to a rise in the number of assaults and forms of threats and harassment.

Rollauer also noted the number of shootings in Durham are similar to last year thus far.

So far in 2019 there have been seven shooting incidents in Durham, with three of them resulting in a person or persons getting shot, one of which was fatal.

These numbers are slightly down from the first quarter in 2018, when there was eight shooting incidents in Durham, with four of them involving a person or persons being shot.

In both first quarters, only one shooting incident resulted in a fatality.

However, according to the presentation from Rollauer, the number of property related crimes are down about one per cent from this period last year.

In the first quarter of 2019, Durham saw a total of 2,951 property crimes reported, compared to 2,988 in 2018.

The decline in property crimes is credited to a decrease in residential break and enters, theft from vehicles and mischief calls.

But Rollauer indicates there has been an increase in the number of commercial break and enters, fraud, vehicle thefts, and theft under $5,000.

While the total number of calls to police are about the same, there was an increase in the number of emergency calls, up 6.4 per cent with 116 more incidents.

The increase is attributed to a boost in domestic calls, which saw 83 more incidents, and an increase in armed person calls with 47 more incidents.