RCMP Supt. Ted De Jager (right) with Const. James Grandy. (Mark Brett/Western News)

Penticton RCMP ramping up downtown patrols

Property crime remains high in Penticton and the South Okanagan

Penticton RCMP’s top cop said with the detachment at full staffing levels they now will be able to do a major crackdown on property crime in the city, especially in the downtown core.

“The very exciting part for me, and certainly for my management team, is that we are at full staffing levels and that is bit of an anomaly for well over five years. The last two members come in at the end of April and another couple to the South Okanagan at the end of this month. It is great news, without the staffing levels we can’t meet the priority levels put to us,” said Superintendent Ted De Jager.

READ MORE: South Okanagan-Similkameen property crime increases

De Jager said violent crime in Penticton and the South Okanagan is low, however property crime is high which is why they are setting a priority on targeting prolific offenders. As well, a downtown liaison officer and centralized office (in the 200 block of Main Street, beside Blenz) for the Community Safety and Enforcement Team are another part of the strategy to combat crime in the core of the city. A full time downtown officer will have a secondary role of engaging with youth, including the YES Project and Foundry. Once the downtown office is fully opened, the RCMP remote office at Okanagan Lake (beside the Peach concession) will close.

“We have heard everybody loud and clear. We heard council loud and clear about the priority and council has heard us loud and clear that we need resources to do that. The downtown officer was approved last year and another member approved this year to go on the drug section which will target, not necessarily the people you see on the street, but the people dealing that misery. Those are the people benefitting from it and those are the people we will be targeting. They will go to jail and the people that suffer will go to treatment, that is the best case scenario we are looking for,” said De Jager.

READ MORE: Video – construction begins at Penticton Youth Resource Centre

Starting in May, the RCMP presence in the downtown core will be ramping up — including having traffic patrols. De Jager said the traffic team already pulled three impaired drivers off the streets in one night earlier this week. The Community Safety and Enforcement Team, which also will be patrolling beaches and the KVR trail, has been slowly building up their staffing levels and have been working in the downtown core for over a year. De Jager said their work has helped reduce nuisance related calls in the core, along with the homeless shelters running full time.

“Last winter (shelters) closed and everyone went out on the street and downtown businesses bore the brunt of that, as did the south side of the town. With the shelters running full time and providing meals to a lot of those people … they have all been housed. Full disclosure, at the end of the month those shelters close and those people will be back on the street but good news is the housing projects that the city and BC Housing have been supporting will be coming online as well. There might be a bit of a lag there with construction but I think we can see the effect the shelters have had,” said De Jager.

READ MORE: New location for supportive housing

While speaking at the Downtown Penticton Association annual general meeting on Thursday morning, De Jager said RCMP are also encouraging engagement from businesses and residents alike by setting up block watch initiatives in neighbourhoods.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Gas leak on Penticton’s South Main Street delays motorists on Friday

A detour is being set up on Parkview Street to avoid the Lee Avenue and Crescent Hill intersection

Penticton RCMP reviewing sexual assault claims

Thirty-eight per cent of the sexual assault reports in 2018 were deemed “unfounded” by RCMP

Prolific offender to return to Penticton court Monday for bail hearing

Lloyd John Baptiste was arrested for domestic-related offences in July this year

Penticton and Salmon Arm will duke it out tonight for division lead

Penticton Vees and Salmon Arm Silverbacks meet in Penticton tonight for Interior Division lead

VIDEO: Disney Plus adds disclaimer about racist stereotypes

Disney’s disclaimer is a good way to begin discussion about the larger issue of racism

Letter: Kettle campaign needs helping hands

With six weeks until Christmas, I have again started my position at… Continue reading

CN Rail confirms job cuts as weakening economy cuts into freight volumes

Railroad also said it was affected by a slowdown in the B.C.’s forestry sector

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Advertising restrictions frustrate Salmon Arm cannabis retailers

Retail prices off-putting to some, but businesses finding supportive clientele

New case of vaping-related illness in Quebec brings national total to 8

Quebec health minister considering tightening the rules around vaping products

Greens to vote against Liberal throne speech unless carbon targets toughened: May

Green leader Elizabeth May and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met Friday, discussing common ground

Okanagan Symphony celebrates 60 years

Themes and Innovations is the second concert in the milestone season

Most Read