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EDITORIAL: Consider factors behind criminal activity

Knowing patterns and statistics can help in quest for solutions
(Black Press file photo)

In many communities in the Southern Interior of B.C., crime rates have become a significant concern.

Since October, the Town of Oliver has been facing a rash of break-and-enters. While in Summerland, RCMP have been dealing with thefts of catalytic converters from vehicles.

In Penticton, the Facebook group Clean Streets Penticton is made up of residents fed up with crime trends in that city.

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The City of Kelowna had Canada’s highest crime rate in 2021, as well as the country’s seventh-highest rate of violent crime.

Other communities are also facing criminal activity, from break-and-enters, thefts, vandalism and other property crimes to more violent incidents.

When one’s own community or neighbourhood is affected, it is easy to call for drastic measures to stop crime as it is happening. However, drastic measures are seldom wise or effective.

While crime is a problem that needs to be addressed, it is important to first understand the issue before putting out calls for action.

The RCMP compile quarterly policing statistics which are then presented to municipal governments and regional districts.

These statistics show the changing trends in each community. When these figures are presented, police will also provide additional insights and information about crime statistics.

It is also worthwhile to consider the reasons behind criminal activity in a community. Addictions, mental health issues, extreme poverty and other factors can all affect crime trends in a community.

Knowing the crime patterns and the societal factors within a community can help to develop an effective plan for reducing crime.

Without this level of understanding, it is impossible to come up with effective crime-reduction strategies.

– Black Press

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