EDITORIAL: Baiting the bad guys

RCMP officers just love it when the bad guys take the bait.

RCMP officers just love it when the bad guys take the bait.

In this case, we’re talking the bait car. But criminals have also been known to take the bait boat, bait ATV, bait snowmobile, and bait bicycle.

The bait car program – which has been expanded by police officials to include other modes of transportation such as boats, snowmobiles, bikes and ATVs – has been a tremendous help in reducing crime statistics province-wide.

Police detachments such as Vernon-North Okanagan that operate the bait car program will park the vehicle at a location and wait.

The car is equipped with devices that alert RCMP when it is being entered. Sometimes articles left inside the car are stolen. Other times, the car itself is taken.

Inside the car is a camera that helps police and their partners identify would-be thieves. Police also have the ability to shut down the car if it’s being driven away.

This year, there have been 438 reports of thefts from vehicles in the North Okanagan between January and September. That’s a drop of 141 reports from the same time frame in 2012.

While the bait car program is a big part of that, the local detachment also credits its commitment to crime reduction, targeting prolific offenders such as those who steal often from vehicles with helping reduce the crime statistics.

“We have a team of dedicated officers that are looking at prolific offenders,” said Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP spokesperon Gord Molendyk. “We know there are a number of individuals in our communities that continue to do the majority of the crimes.”

It’s always a plus to see local crime numbers going down.

—The Morning Star