Sexual assaults in Vancouver jumped more than 20 per cent during the first half of 2010, the city’s chief of police said yesterday as he unveiled the department’s annual report.

The jump in sex offences follows a similar increase last year of almost 18 per cent and runs counter to the city’s almost eight per cent decrease in criminal offences.

Chief Const. Jim Chu said the rise in popularity of Vancouver’s entertainment district is partly responsible.

“There’s more people … drinking and partying in Vancouver,” Chu said.

“And because you have more of those people, the type of crime that occurs in that environment also increases.”