The Vernon North Okanagan RCMP has released its quarterly policing report for the first three months of 2021. (Black Press file photo)

The Vernon North Okanagan RCMP has released its quarterly policing report for the first three months of 2021. (Black Press file photo)

Vernon crime statistics trend upward to start 2021

North Okanagan’s two First Nations see biggest crime rise compared to first quarter 2020

After a dip in most crime categories last quarter, Vernon’s overall crime statistics are back on the rise in Vernon to start 2021.

According to the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP’s quarterly policing report, there have been 4,470 calls for service in Vernon through the first three months of 2021 — up seven per cent from just over 4,188 calls in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Calls for Criminal Code offences were about the same as the previous quarter, while property crime calls went up 10 per cent for a total of 818.

In the RCMP’s previous report, Vernon’s 2020 fourth quarter showed a 20 per cent drop in the 15 most common and impactful crimes. That trend has halfway reversed to start 2021, with Vernon seeing a 10 per cent increase from 3,929 files last quarter to 4,320.

Comparing the 2021 first quarter to the same time last year, Vernon saw a drop in break-and-enters, drug offences and theft from vehicles. On the latter charge, thieves were more prone to stealing the entire vehicle, with the number of vehicle thefts rising to 47 this first quarter from 30 this time last year.

Incidents of minor theft (under $5,000) dropped significantly — to 216 incidents from 300 in first-quarter 2020. Robberies also went sharply down (from 14 case files to four).

The North Okanagan’s two First Nations, the Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB) and Splatsin, saw the biggest top-15 crime increases this first quarter over the same period last year.

The OKIB went from 122 cases to 177 for a 45 per cent rise, while cases roughly doubled in Splatsin from 61 to 124. Neither band’s top-15 crime breakdown revealed a significant driver of the increases.

In Coldstream, the top 15 crimes were up 11 per cent from this time last year, driven in part by a bump in assault (including domestic violence) from four cases to 10.

Enderby saw a near-identical rise in this category (from three cases to 10).

READ MORE: New RCMP boots on the ground in North Okanagan

READ MORE: Violent crime up by 233% in Keremeos over first three months of 2021

Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
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