DAWSON CREEK -- New statistics released by the Dawson Creek RCMP show that the issue of crime and public safety in the Peace Region is showing signs of improvement.

There were 9,351 calls to police last year, 273 less than in 2022 in a report presented by Sergeant Rob Hughes.

The report shows that there was a substantial decrease across most crime sectors in 2023, with auto theft down 26%, and break and enters down 20%.

“The decrease is a combined effort of increased police presence, increased local police patrols, and the assistance of groups like C.O.P.S, Rural Crime Watch and the CTA group,” said Hughes.

Drug possession was also down 26%, but provincial legislation allowing for personal possession of small amounts of drugs is said to have played a factor in the decrease.

However, there was an 8% increase in the number of assaults and a 4.7% increase in sexual interference calls.

Hughes says the increase of sexual offences are any and all files with a sexual component, including occurrences of sexting complaints.

The report indicates that property crime and mental health related issues made up the majority of calls for service last year.