Source: Vernon North Okanagan Detachment - 2nd Quarterly Policing Report.

Second-quarter police report shows assault, theft on the rise in Vernon

Through the first half of 2019, assault was up 61 per cent from the same period last year

Vernon’s assault and theft-related crimes appear to be on the rise through the first half of 2019.

According to the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP’s second-quarter policing report, there were 155 reported incidents of assault (including domestic violence) from April through June of 2019 – up from 93 in the same time frame last year.

That brings the total number of assaults in the first half of 2019 up to 258 – a 61 per cent increase from 2018’s first half.

Crimes of theft under $5,000 also appear to be on the upward trend. There have been 614 reported incidents of small theft in Vernon so far this year, good for a 55 per cent increase from this time last year.

The city has also seen a 10 per cent rise in reported theft from vehicles. Taking into account the entire list of crimes in the quarterly report, Vernon has seen an increase of roughly six and a half per cent.

Related: Armstrong’s property crime stands out in North Okanagan

Related: Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

The RCMP report does not directly account for the spike in assaults, but it does attribute the increase in property offenses to requests made to the public to report even minimal amounts of property crimes, so as to allow police to have a better sense of the true crime rate.

The report also highlights increases in thefts of bicycles and propane tanks throughout the city.

Vernon city councillor Kelly Fehr agrees that the public has been encouraged to report more often, and adds that if more reporting is taking place, higher crime stats aren’t necessarily a bad thing.

“Though there may very well be an increase, I think some of that is attributed to both City of Vernon programs and the RCMP being quite successful,” he said.

Fehr explains that the city’s Community Safety Unit, its bylaw office and its Block Watch program have stepped up their efforts to encourage public reporting over the last year.

“These programs are really encouraging people to report everything, because if police don’t have the statistics that show what the true crime rate is, they can’t advocate for further resources,” he said.

“I think that is a positive thing and that is one small piece that shows an increase in these statistics.”

Fehr also points to the fact that the City of Vernon increased funding for both the RCMP and the bylaw department in the last fiscal year.

“There are more boots on the ground, so naturally you should be seeing an increase in crime statistics because people are being caught,” he explained.

Elsewhere in the North Okanagan, Enderby saw a large spike in total crimes with 191 in June – up from 103 the same month last year. This was driven in part by 17 cases of theft under $5,000 that month versus just three in June 2018.

Read More: Okanagan shooting suspect arrested with help from Emergency Response Team

Read More: Car of missing Victoria pair found in Vernon


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

CrimeRCMP

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

Just Posted

Vernon’s Tolko Industries backs Orange Shirt Day contest

Art contest is open to kids from kindergarten to Grade 12

Vernon Vipers announce exhibition schedule

Snakes to play 12 games prior to December against Salmon Arm, West Kelowna and Penticton

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

Smoky skies clearing throughout B.C. Interior

Environment Canada expects “widespread” improvement for all affected areas by Sunday

Temporary four-way stop added to Vernon intersection

Change at 43rd Ave. and 20th St. is designed to curb increased traffic during construction periods

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

Squabble over mask policy at LUSH in Kelowna mall

The woman filmed the encounter at LUSH Cosmetics, where wearing a mask in-store is company policy

Former Kelowna cop faces fourth lawsuit alleging sexual assault

Ex-Mountie Brian Mathew Burkett is also separately facing seven charges of breach of trust

Province opens ‘middle income’ housing in Kelowna

Prices on the units are $1300 for a one-bedroom and $1780 for a two-bedroom, nearing area-average prices

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Reward offered for return of Okanagan puppy

An 11-week-old boxer-mastiff cross pup was allegedly taken from its Kelowna Friday, Sept. 18

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Most Read