Lake Country RCMP detachment to hire five officers within the next two years. (File photo)

One Okanagan municipality has seen a crime increase in almost every statistical category, report says

Report states there were 617 offences in Lake Country in 2018; almost 100 more than 2017

Criminal offences in Lake Country increased in almost every statistical category from 2017 to 2018, according to the 2018 annual report.

In total, there were 617 offences in 2018; 89 more than 2017, yet 48 less than in 2016.

RCMP suspect the increase can be partially attributed to repeat offenders who finished their sentence in 2018 and rejoined the community, according to Lake Country detachment commander Sgt. Cameron Holloway. “It’s cyclical.”

READ MORE: Lake Country councillors want stricter regulations. more signage on public smoking

Some of the most notable increases were a 260 per cent increase in business break and enters; a 267 per cent increase in theft of motor vehicle incidents—of which was the highest in the past three years; and a 119 per cent increase in property offences.

The only category in which offences did not increase was under the Controlled Drug and Substances Act.

Sgt. Holloway said not only is it the recurrence of Lake Country offenders, but incidents conducted by criminal offenders from neighbouring towns that come to Lake Country.

READ MORE: One woman “shaken up” after minor collision on Hwy 97

READ MORE: RCMP spike belts help nab alleged Okanagan car thieves

“They are coming from Kelowna, Vernon, Salmon Arm and committing offences here,” he said, but could not provide accompanying statistics and reports.

Sgt. Holloway said Lake Country police have been working in co-ordination with adjacent RCMP detachments in order to reprimand criminals more efficiently and rectify the growth in crime.

READ MORE: Surrey RCMP warned of ‘huge public protest’ if it raises Pride flag

Nonetheless, the Sergeant states Lake Country is a relatively safe municipality compared to others throughout the Okanagan and residents should not be worried.

“There’s a perception that crime is rampant. It really isn’t,” he said.

In 2017 (most recent data), the City of Kelowna had 12,521 offences committed with a population of 129,500 people.

Comparably, if Lake Country had a similar population in 2018, that would equate to approximately 5,696 or less than half of offences occurred in Kelowna.

Right now there are approximately 14,000 residents in Lake Country; a number that has been growing. Due to the rising population, the RCMP have put provisions in place to make sure Lake Country stays a relatively safe community.

READ MORE: Lake Country to add five RCMP Officers

In early June 2019, the District of Lake Country council passed a motion that a request be sent into the Solicitor General and minister of public safety in B.C. and the Solicitor General of Canada to hire five additional RCMP officers.

Although Sgt. Holloway said hiring more officers will change the way Lake Country is policed and “give [police] the ability to better operate in the community,” it will be at least 18 months to two years before the new recruits join the detachment.

READ MORE: Kelowna business owner says spat with City cost her thousands


@davidvenn_
David.venn@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Fire department helps with body recovery in Okanagan Lake

Penticton fire department assisted the RCMP with the recovery of a body Saturday

Hespeler had connection to Mennonite migration

Home in Summerland was built in 1907, moved when the highway was changed

Okanagan-Shuswap Weather: Summer sun for Sunday

The forecast for the week ahead shows some rain but plenty of sun and warm tempertures.

COLUMN: Looking back to a time of optimism

The first lunar landing 50 years ago was a time to celebrate dreams and accomplishments

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Showers to start weekend, sun returning soon

Environment Canada forecasts rain on Saturday and the heat returning next week

July showers wash out half of the Okanagan’s cherry crop

Cherry growers say this is the worst season they’ve seen in decades

Police on scene at Penticton beach

RCMP were at a what is believed to be a crime scene near Skaha Beach Sunday

Community service ordered for Princeton man who stole from firefighters

A young man who stole food and money from the Princeton Volunteer… Continue reading

Okanagan rainbow crosswalk defaced

Vandals cover colours with white paint in District of Coldstream sometime overnight Saturday

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read