While fewer major crimes such as homicides were recorded in New Brunswick last year, the RCMP's annual report for 2012 shows an increase in crimes such as thefts and break and enters.

The report for J Division of the RCMP includes crime statistics from 2010 through 2012. It shows there were four homicides in territory policed by the RCMP in 2012, compared to seven homicides two years earlier.

The 18-page report also notes a decline in motor vehicle deaths, from 76 in 2010 to 54 last year. And the number of reportable accidents involving motor vehicles and off-road vehicles fell from 8,298 in 2010 to 6,836 last year.

RCMP cruiser

Despite the increase in property crime this year, New Brunswick is still below the national average, RCMP say. (CBC)

However, drug-related crimes, including possession, production and trafficking are on the rise with 2,166 cases last year, compared to about 1,828 in 2010.

Robbery/extortion also showed a steady increase from 84 cases in 2010 to 120 last year.

Crimes such as break and enter, fraud and mischief have also all climbed.

In 2010, there were 5,505 cases of theft valued at $5,000 or less. By 2012, that number reported cases in that category climbed to 7,209.

Cst. Jullie Rogers-Marsh says New Brunswick is under the national average for property crime.

"We take all incidents of crime seriously," she said. "Property crime actually decreased steadily from 2007 through 2010 and even with this year's increase, we remain under the national average.

"We will, however, be looking further into why we saw this increase and how to address it."

There was also an increase in drug cases, with 2,166 cases last year compared to 1,828 in 2010.

Marsh-Rogers says the annual report helps police focus their efforts where they're needed.

"It sets the tone," said Marsh-Rogers. "It shows … where I guess we need improvement and where we're doing well.

"It certainly makes us more goal- and focus-orientated."

The report only includes figures for communities and areas policed by the RCMP and doesn't include those that have municipal forces.

The annual report puts the total RCMP policing cost in the province at $153.6-million. That amount includes $87.3 million for provincial territory, $28.3 million for municipal policing, and $24.9 million for federal and international operations.

The annual report indicates the RCMP has 601 regular and civilian members at the provincial level and 208 members working in municipal policing.