Repeat property offenders continue to significantly impact crime in Kelowna.
However, RCMP Supt. Kara Triance told council at its June 19 regular meeting that reported crime was down slightly for the first quarter of 2023, compared to the same period last year.
Triance noted that Statistics Canada is expected to release the 2022 Crime Severity Index (CSI) this summer.
“While RCMP is seeing improvement in key metrics, such as break and enter and auto theft, since fall 2022, the annual figures mirrored those of 2021,” she added. “Therefore, no significant changes are anticipated in this summer’s CSI report from last year.
Triance said staffing continues to be a challenge, but it has improved, resulting in more officers in the community today than last summer. Officers are also dealing with higher calls for service, and caseloads compared to similar-size communities across the province, she explained.
Statistics for January to March this year show a drop in robberies (-60 per cent) auto theft (-39.7 percent) and business break and enters (-32.8 per cent).
Increases were seen in shoplifting (20.2 percent) and fraud, as well as intimate partner violence (18.4 per cent).
“Given the unique and difficult investigative components of this type of crime (partner violence), we have trained a number of officers as specialized investigators to work these cases in Kelowna,” said Triance.
There was also a huge increase in traffic violation tickets (117.7 per cent) with 316 written up in the first quarter of 2022 compared to 688 for the same period this year.