The amount of crime overall in Penticton dipped in 2022, although there were more cases of violence.
According to the year-end crime statistics, set to be presented to the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen on Thursday, Feb. 16, the total number of criminal code and Canadian Drug and Substance Act files went from 7,358 in 2020 and 7,387 in 2021 to 7,066 last year.
Those numbers belie the dire state of the community, as laid out in the recent 200-page Focus on Safety report that was shared with the city in January.
The decrease in total crime numbers came from a drop in the number of property crimes, which dropped overall from 4,409 in 2021 and 4,281 in 2021 to 4,197 in 2022.
Violent crime overall rose on the other hand for the second straight year, going from 914 in 2020 and 980 in 2021 up to 1,013 in 2022. That increase in violent crime was also cited in the Focus on Safety report.
Breaking down the individual categories, the increase in violent crimes was in the number of assaults, which rose from 454 in 2020 and 460 in 2021 up to 488 in 2022. The number of sexual offences also rose from 78 in 2020 to 105 in 2022.
Both cases of uttering threats and domestic violence saw decreases in 2022, with threats dropping the most from 2021’s 293 to 219 in 2022, while domestic violence dropped by just three cases from 144 to 141.
According to the year-end report, the continued focus of the Penticton detachment is on crime reduction with an emphasis on property crimes and drugs, family and sexual violence and responding tot issues with homelessness, addictions and mental health.
Most categories of reported property crime did drop in 2022, with bicycle thefts, break-and-enters of businesses and shoplifting the only categories to see increases.
Bicycle thefts rose from 126 in 2021 and 149 in 2020 to 161 in 2022 and shoplifting rose from 395 in 2020 to 472 in 2022. Business break-and-enters rose from 170 in 2021 to 180 in 2020, which is still below 2020’s 200 cases.
Auto thefts, residential break-and-enters, thefts from vehicles and fraud cases were all below 2020 levels.
Out of the top calls for service the RCMP received were 1,380 for unwanted persons, 1,221 for theft, 1,122 to call for a wellbeing check, 1,074 for a disturbance and 973 to respond to an alarm.
Rural Penticton, Kaleden, Naramata and Okanagan Falls all saw drops in total crime from 2020. Only violent crime in Naramata, in cases of uttering threats and domestic violence, was higher than 2020’s numbers.
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