RCMP. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)

Police report outlines latest efforts to fight North Okanagan sex crimes

The local RCMP sex crimes unit has been involved in a number of investigations so far in 2021

Police in the North Okanagan have dealt with a number of sex crimes in the first three months of 2021.

Supt. Shawna Baher presented the Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP’s first-quarter policing report to city council Monday, May 10.

The report outlines various activities by the local sex crimes unit through the first three months of this year — a quarter that saw the unit take on eight separate reports of possession of child pornography. Those reports are passed onto the sex crimes unit from the BC Integrated Child Exploitation Unit (BC ICE).

As the report indicates, considerable policing resources are invested into cases of sex crimes.

“Each investigation requires a significant amount of time to complete production orders, execute search warrants and, where the evidence supports, prepare charge packages for Crown Counsel.”

READ MORE: RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

In January, the unit aided an investigation of a suspect alleged to have committed multiple sexual offences on several victims. The Special Victims Unit (SVU) helped draft judicial authorizations, prepared a bail package and provided disclosure to support criminal charges. The 32-year old man is in custody awaiting trial, according to the report.

In February, sex crimes coordinated an investigation into a case of sexual assault, as well as the possession and distribution of child pornography. That matter is before the courts. That same month, the unit also assisted another detachment by obtaining a statement from a four-year-old child regarding sexual interference.

In March, sex crimes investigated a report that a registered sex offender had failed to meet the reporting requirements set out by the National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR). After pursuing numerous leads, police located the offender at a new address and updated NSOR on the situation.

Also in March, the unit obtained a statement from a four-year-old child regarding a sexual interference investigation on behalf of a neighbouring jurisdiction.

READ MORE: ‘We have a responsibility to intervene’: Pandemic worsens child abuse in Okanagan

READ MORE: Major Crimes called in after two bodies discovered near Penticton


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

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