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

Coming Home: Penticton fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

World champion snowmobile racer seeks public’s help after dirt bikes were stolen in Penticton

The bikes, valued at $25,000 and $11,000, were stolen from the back of a locked truck on Sept. 12

Penticton teen cyclist allegedly struck by black Ford truck resulting in hematoma

The incident occurred at the intersection of Westminster Avenue West and Power Street

LyleXOX launches first solo exhibition at Liquidity Wines in OK Falls

The Canadian artist has amassed thousands of fans for his beautiful self-portraits using found items

Vees uphold winning streak with 7-3 victory against Centennials

The team is off to Prince George to take on the Spruce Kings tonight, puck drops at 7 p.m.

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

EDITORIAL: This is our election

It is up to the voting public to identify the issues in the upcoming federal election

B.C. company gets licence to test psychedelic drugs for therapy treatment

Salvation Botanicals interested in manufacturing, testing and research and development

B.C. police watchdog to investigate man’s head injury during RCMP arrest

Suspect fled on a bicycle and fell off when an officer attempted to stop him

Cyclists ride in Okanagan to support Rwandan schools

The 10th annual Lake2Lake Ride for Rwanda has raised more than $100,000 in donations and counting

‘How does it even happen?’: Bear locks itself inside vehicle in Port Moody

It was apparent the suspect had gained entry with his ‘bear’ hands

Most Read