City crime rate dips

Crime down in Victoria, but sex assault incidents increase

Crime in Victoria and Esquimalt is down 10 per cent, according to Victoria police.

Its latest crime stats show that between January and July, there were fewer calls for service in the two municipalities in 2011 than 2010, with a few exceptions.

Complaints of sexual assault increased 6.4 per cent over last year. That’s a trend that reflects numbers Canada-wide, said Insp. Clark Russell.

Many sexual assaults can be tied to incidents in night clubs and date rape cases, he said.

Criminal harassment cases also increased.

Indecent acts took a sharp upturn in 2011 – 89.5 per cent – because of a single suspect who has been spotted masturbating at bus stops across the city, but hasn’t been caught.