VICTORIA -- Statistics released by Victoria police on Friday show that some types of violent crimes have spiked in the city's downtown core this year, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Police say that weapons calls, reports of break-ins and calls for robberies have all been on the rise compared to a similar time period in 2019.

Meanwhile, mischief calls and vehicle thefts have also seen a sharp increase.

From January to mid-August of this year, there were 311 break and enter calls, up from the 162 reported between January and July 31 of last year.

Meanwhile, weapon-related incidents rose to 154 in the first 7.5 months of this year, compared to the 96 reported in the January to July period of 2019.

However, some types of crimes have seen fewer reports in the first 7.5 months of 2020 compared to the first seven months of 2019.

There have only been 18 reports of sexual assault so far this year compared to 32 filed between January and July 2019.

Meanwhile, there have only been 15 traffic suspensions handed out between January and mid-August, compared to the 34 issued in the first seven months 2019.

Earlier this year, near the beginning of the pandemic, Victoria police reported similar trends in crime statistics.

Between March 15 and May 2, VicPD saw a 576 per cent increase in commercial break-ins, with 80 reported during that time period compared to just 12 seen during that time last year.