RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)

Kelowna has Canada’s fastest-growing crime rate, most opioid offences per-capita

Greater Kelowna’s violent crime rate skyrocketed nearly 60 per cent

Kelowna’s crime rate is growing faster than any other city with more than 100,000 people across the country.

Data published by Statistics Canada on Thursday, Oct. 29, showed that the crime rate for the Kelowna census metropolitan area, encompassing Peachland through Lake Country, increased by 24 per cent in 2019, to 10,747 incidents per 100,000 people.

A census metropolitan area is defined as a region has a total population of at least 100,000 of which 50,000 or more live in the core.

That rate also leaves the area with the second-highest crime rate in the country among census metropolitan areas, second to only Lethbridge, Alta. The national average is 5,874 incidents per 100,000 people.

Greater Kelowna’s violent crime rate skyrocketed nearly 60 per cent, to 1,537 incidents per 100,000 people, plotting it behind only Lethbridge and Thunder Bay, Ont.

Kelowna also placed fourth among census metropolitan areas in the country on the Crime Severity Index at 121.4 — a more than 20 point increase from last year’s 101.1. Kelowna ranks behind Lethbridge (141.8), Winnipeg, Man. (131.7) and Regina, Sask. (130). Crime Severity Indexes are based on Criminal Code incidents, including traffic offences, as well as other federal statute violations.

The Kelowna area also had the highest rate of opioid-related drug offences in the country, with 124 per 100,000. Lethbridge follows with 95, only to be followed by a steep drop to Vancouver with 35.

Statistics Canada stated the increase in police-reported crime in B.C. may be partially attributable to the implementation of new reporting standards for classifying incidents across the province.

In November 2019, the Kelowna RCMP was reproached over its high number of sexual assault cases deemed unfounded in 2018 — nearly 40 per cent, dwarfing the provincial 15 per cent average.

After several protests and public outcry, the RCMP’s national sexual assault review team looked at the local detachment’s past cases, reclassifying several and reopening 12. The Kelowna RCMP implemented a sexual assault unit soon after.

For the 2019 numbers, reported sexual assaults nearly doubled, with 207 incidents reported. Of those, 27, or 13 per cent were deemed unfounded.

“Despite the rise in police-reported sexual assaults, the number of sexual assaults reported by police is likely a significant underestimation of the extent of sexual assault in Canada, as these types of offences often go unreported to police,” Statistics Canada states in its report.

READ MORE: Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

READ MORE: Kelowna man injured during arrest sues RCMP

READ MORE: Kelowna Mountie at centre of UBCO wellness check investigation faces third lawsuit

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com


@michaelrdrguez
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Crimecrime rate

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP searched for a suspect in Polson Park following an assault on a woman Thursday, Nov. 26. (Morning Star file photo)
Public warned after woman assaulted in Vernon’s Polson Park

RCMP on the hunt for suspect, described as in his 30’s

The Okanagan Quality Life Society which usually gives tours of Okanagan Lake to seniors and shut-ins on its boat Heaven Can Wait has created a virtual tour video in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic which shut down the tours in 2020. (Morning Star - file photo)
Vernon society launches virtual boat tour

Okanagan Quality Life Society normally gives tours on Okanagan Lake on its boat Heaven Can Wait

The Wilson’s Landing Fire Department holds its Christmas Santa Run Food Drive from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7. (Photo submitted)
Westside fire department holding food drive

Annual Wilson’s Landing Fire Department Christmas Santa Run Food Drive goes Monday, Dec. 7

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 65 new cases of COVID-19

Province-wide, there are 887 new cases of the virus

City of Armstrong Public Works Yard. (Google Maps)
Armstrong city staff threatened in snow removal complaint

Community services manager says ‘veiled threat’ is believed to have been flippant, but is being taken seriously

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

The Rutland IGA is located in Willow Park Shopping Centre at 590 BC-33. (Michael Rodriguez - Kelowna Capital News)
Customer asked to mask up, throws hot coffee at Kelowna IGA employee

The woman grabbed cat food on her way out when she refused to wear a mask

B.C. Premier John Horgan, a Star Trek fan, can’t resist a Vulcan salute as he takes the oath of office for a second term in Victoria, Nov. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
Horgan names 20-member cabinet with same pandemic team

New faces in education, finance, economic recovery

Police service dog Fitz helped track and rescue a lost hiker and his dog in Kelowna. (Kelowna RCMP)
Okanagan police dog Fitz dies of cancer

Fitz recently helped locate a lost hiker in the Central Okanagan

Resident wants City of Salmon Arm to take action to eradicate rat population in town. (File photo)
Salmon Arm resident demands action to eradicate rats

City posts more information on social media, will consider more action at budget time

Most Read