667 motor vehicle thefts were reported to the Regina Police Service in 2018.
It’s a large increase for the city – so much that Regina was at the top for the motor vehicle theft rate among Canada’s 35 Census Metropolitan Areas last year, rising 51 per cent compared to 2017.
When asked about the concerning numbers for crime in the provincial capital, Mayor Michael Fougere assured residents that the city is safe.
He said police and other organizations in Regina are working to bring those numbers down moving forward.
“Every city has these difficulties in different ways and different measures,” shared Fougere. “We do our surveys with the public and they continue to say they feel safe in the city, they are happy with the work being done by police, but we have challenges.”
Another factor as to why the Queen City has seen a rise in auto thefts is due to a shift in the landscape of criminal activity in the municipality.
Mayor Fougere spoke to media on Monday about this change saying RPS stats have shown a transition over the last few years, which may explain the increase.
“Car thefts before were just joy rides by teenagers, now they are adults in the commitment of many other crimes with weapons and drugs,” said the mayor. “It’s much more complex and difficult to deal with those.”
Chief of Police Evan Bray mentioned how there aren’t any specific areas that are being targeted by criminals, but rather the problem is city-wide.
He suggested the best people can do to protect their property is to make sure vehicles are locked, windows are rolled up and no valuable items are left in plain sight.
While there was a jump seen between 2017 and last year, the stats report also showed a 10-per-cent decrease when stacked up against numbers from 2008.