32% drop in crime in New Westminster in the last decade

Crime is down in British Columbia. In New Westminster, it’s way down.

According to the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General of B.C., the provincial crime rate has dropped 19% over the past decade. In New Westminster, it’s down a striking 32%.

Over the past 10 years in New West:

  • criminal code offences decreased by 25%
  • annual crime rates per 1000 persons decreased by 35%
  • auto thefts decreased by 52%
  • robbery crimes decreased by 34%
  • overall property crime rate decreased by 32%

In their news release sharing the above statistics, the New Westminster Police said a number of factors have resulted in a lower crime rate, including new policing initiatives and demographic shifts.

“Province-wide a number of factors are involved in the decreasing numbers. These include policing programs such as the Bait Car program and PRIME reporting systems wherein police have instant access to information on criminals and criminal activity. Generally speaking, crimes tend to be committed by males in their late teens and early twenties. In BC, the population in this age group is decreasing,” it says in the NWPD release.

The NWPD also points to programs improving public awareness of crime and reporting criminal activities, specifically Crime Free Multi-Housing, the Park Safety Initiative, School Liaison Officers and, the Operational Support Unit.

If you want to be involved in improving public safety in New Westminster, you can call the NWPD’s Crime Prevention Unit at 604-529-2528 to find out more information on policing programs and volunteer opportunities in our community.

Charges recommended against New West cop

Two of the three police officers who were alleged to have beaten, robbed and racially insulted a delivery man in Vancouver last week will be charged in the assault.

Charges of assault and possession of stolen property are recommended against an officer with the New Westminster police, while a charge of robbery is recommended against an officer with the West Vancouver force, Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu told reporters Monday.

Chu said there was not enough evidence to recommend charges against a third officer from the Delta police department, who was initially arrested along with the other two early Wednesday morning in downtown Vancouver.

“We do actually have some evidence that he may have actually tried to intervene and stop the assault,” Chu said of the Delta officer.

More: Two cops to face charges in attack | Vancouver Sun

The New Westminster officer has already been identified as 38-year-old Jeffrey Klassen. The name of the accused West Van officer will be released once charges are laid.

New Westminster’s police Chief Constable Lorne Zapotichny released the following statement about the incident:

Allegations of this nature against one of our police officers is very serious and disconcerting, not only to our organization, but also to the citizens we serve.

I want to assure the public that behavior of this nature, whether on or off duty, is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. At the same time, I ask for the public’s patience and trust during this investigation as members of the police must be afforded the same due process as any other member of the public.

More: Statement by New Westminster Police’s chief constable | Vancouver Sun

Off-duty cops arrested for alleged assault & robbery

A New West police officer was among three off-duty cops who were arrested for allegedly assaulting and robbing a man in Vancouver.

Three off-duty police officers from different suburban departments were arrested Wednesday on allegations they assaulted and robbed a man in Vancouver.

The Vancouver Police Department said the three officers were involved in an altercation with a 47-year-old newspaper delivery driver from Surrey, B.C.

Police declined to provide many details, citing the continuing investigation, but said they responded to a 911 call about a fight outside an upscale hotel in the city’s downtown around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.

The three male officers were released from custody Wednesday evening but no charges had yet been filed, spokeswoman Const. Jana McGuinness said.

“The investigators are working hard to determine whether a crime has been committed before any charges are laid,” she said.

Source: Three off-duty police officers arrested in Vancouver for assault, robbery | The Canadian Press

UPDATE: The New Westminster police officer involved in this incident has been suspended with pay. The conduct of all three officers will be investigated, and no charges have been laid.

I am proud of the New West police force for responding promptly with this suspension. The suspension will be reviewed once the investigation is complete. I think this is an appropriate response given the allegations. The other districts involved (Delta and West Van) should follow suit.

Poor New West cops!

New Westminster police are putting their snazzy new retro-styled cruisers through their paces. It’s seems like it’s been an unusually busy – and hazardous – week for local law enforcement officers. 

Last Sunday, cops were pepper-sprayed by two youthful ne’er-do-wells near 5th Ave. and 7th St.  The attack happened while arresting the pair, following a call about an attempted theft. One officer was temporarily blinded, but neither teen got away.

On Monday, suspects in a stolen car rammed two police vehicles after the cops trapped them in the McDonald’s drive-thru on McBride. Police fired on the car, and one of the five was injured in the shoulder. The driver ran off, but was later tracked down by a police dog.

After receiving a report of a stolen car, police located it near Eighth Avenue and McBride Boulevard around 1 a.m. When the white Acura entered the nearby McDonald’s restaurant drive-thru, New Westminster police boxed it in. The driver of the stolen vehicle then took “evasive action,” police said, ramming the two police vehicles. The damage was extensive enough that they could not be driven from the scene.

“Once the cars moved into position, one of the officers got out to speak to the driver. That’s when he started ramming the cars,” said Sgt. Gary Weishaar. “The officer had to jump out of the way.”

Source: Woman injured in police shooting | New Westminster Newsleader

Then on Friday, transit police had to Taser a fare-evader at Braid SkyTrain – and one officer fell down an escalator in the scuffle. The unfortunate officer was hospitalized with serious head wounds, as well as injuries to his knees and hands. 

When the officers asked the man to show his fare, he ignored them and fled, Seaman said.

One of the officers tried to stop the man, and a confrontation between an officer and the man ensued.

When the man began to run down an up-escalator, “the physical altercation quickly escalated,” according to the police report.

During the confrontation, an officer fell down the escalator, hitting his head and knees on the sharp edges of the metal steps. Other officers twice Tasered the man, bringing him under control. At that time, a steak knife fell out of the man’s pocket, Seaman said.

Source: Officer wounded, suspect Tasered in SkyTrain fight | Vancouver Sun

Is it just me, or does it seem like there have been more violent incidents being reported lately, not just in New West, but around the Lower Mainland? 

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Police shooting injures female suspect

If you live near the 800 block of McBride, you may have heard a sound like a gunshot early Monday morning. Canadian Press has the scoop on what happened:

NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. — A woman is recovering from what police in New Westminster, B.C. are calling a minor injury after she was shot in the shoulder as officers tried to arrest four people in a suspected stolen car.

The incident happened at around 1 a.m. Monday morning when two police cruisers tried to box in the possibly stolen car in the drive-thru of a fast food restaurant in the 800 block of McBride Boulevard.

The suspect vehicle may have tried to smash through the two cruisers in what police describe as “evasive action,” prompting officers to fire at least one shot, injuring a woman passenger in the car.

She was taken to hospital for treatment and then returned to police custody.

Source: Woman hit in shoulder during police shooting in New Westminster, B.C. | The Canadian Press