Crime has increased five per cent in 2021 in Penticton. (File photo)

Crime has increased five per cent in 2021 in Penticton. (File photo)

Crime up 5% in Penticton: RCMP

Violent and sexual assaults are up while shoplifting and uttering threats skyrocketed: RCMP

Crime in Penticton has increased five per cent in the third quarter of 2021, compared to this time period in 2020, says a police report coming to city council.

The increase is largerly driven by mischief incidents and shoplifting, said Penticton RCMP Supt. Brian Hunter.

Violent crime has gone up from 707 incidents in 2020 to 759 so far in 2021, a seven per cent increase.

Sexual violence is also up 10 per cent this year compared to last.

Hunter will be in front of city council on Tuesday to provide his third quarter crime report and to explain what the detachment’s priorities will be for the coming year.

The crime that saw the largest increase in Penticton is uttering threats, which saw a 44 per cent increase over last year, with 240 incidents in the third quarter of 2021 compared to 167 for the same time period.

Surprisingly, bike theft is down, according to the quarterly report.

However, mischief to property is way up, from 1,055 incidents in 2020, jumping to 1,413 in 2021.

Shoplifting continues to plague Penticton businesses, seeing a 34 per cent increase this year over last. Property crime over all saw an eight per cent increase over last year, with 3,416 incidents so far in 2021.

Penticton detachment will focus on prolific offenders and drug and property crime offenders, said Hunter.

Next is road safety, increasing enforcement around speed and impaired drivers.

Then they will look at family and sexual violence and look at a working with community partners in a wrap around approach.

Police will also look to work with community partners on mental health and addictions.

Lastly, Hunter will focus on employee wellness. Policing can be very stressful and the effects of this stress can be devastating, he said.

This year has seen several high profile murders and violent crimes in Penticton.

This month council is planning its 2022 budget which might include hiring three more officers. Hunter has said Penticton officers have an unsustainable caseload and are understaffed to handle it.

This summer, police said they were only able to do reactive policing.

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