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

Sit-in on Saturday will protest move to curb loitering in Penticton’s downtown

Nanaimo Square Sit-In is taking place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Penticton council members plant tree to celebrate local government

It is the 100th anniversary of the Local Government Management Association of B.C.

Crews respond to smoke at Penticton thrift store

The rooftop A/C unit began filling the building with smoke, prompting them to evacuate

Housing provided for women and children fleeing violence in Penticton

Announcement on Friday is part of a provincewide initiative to construct additional housing.

Okanagan Dance Studio to host yard sale and market on June 1

Proceeds to support the studio’s showgroup

B.C.’s fight to regulate bitumen through pipelines to go to Canada’s top court

BC Appeal Court judges found B.C. cannot restrict bitumen flow along Trans Mountain pipeline

Nominate your favourite businesses for the Best of the South Okanagan

Join the Penticton Western News as they celebrate the Best of the South Okanagan awards

Friend of accused Kelowna murderer takes the stand

Elrich Dyck’s testimony continued Friday with details from the night Chris Ausman was killed

Princeton RCMP recover stolen homework and save the grade

It’s a slightly better excuse than “the dog ate my homework.” Earlier… Continue reading

New Summerland distillery has received recognition

Alchemist Distiller won audience choice award at recent competition

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

Vancouver woman sexually assaulted after man follows her home; suspect at large

Police are looking for an Asian man in his 40s after the incident on Vancouver’s east side.

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parents’ cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

Rally for climate justice strikes Okanagan yet again

A handful of students were seen rallying in front of the Okanagan Science Centre

Most Read