The number of reported domestic violence cases has risen by 44 cases in 2016 compared to 2015 according to Smithers RCMP, bringing the number of files for 2016 up to 95.

Staff Sergeant Rob Mitchell says the numbers mean more victims have been reporting incidents rather than an overall increase in domestic violence.

He says education and the work of both Community and Police Based Victims Services have played an important role in encouraging women to step forward and report violence in relationships.

Historically, he says many cases aren’t reported to the police

The Smithers RCMP did report that crime stats are generally down, with a notable drop in property crime of 8 per cent.