Supt. Ted De Jager (right), seen here with Cpl. Don Wrigglesworth, said the detachment didn’t deal with much crime activity at Peachfest this year. (Western News File photo)

Penticton RCMP reports low crime rates during long weekend, Peachfest activities

Supt. Ted DeJager said members enjoyed being out and talking with the public

One of Penticton’s biggest festivals of the year is now in the books and the local RCMP’s detachment commander said it went smoothly for his members.

Supt. Ted De Jager said in recent years the detachment has adjusted how many members it has on duty during the Penticton Peach Festival, which ran from Aug. 7 to 11 in various locations around the city. He noted that they’ve been able to reduce their numbers slightly since crime is not usually a significant factor at the festival.

“(We had) no problems with Peachfest and we’ve noticed that trend for quite some time, even three years ago we would put a lot of members on. Last summer, we changed it to have members just on-call, and we did have extra members on overtime and doing patrols, but we changed it so that more were on call,” said De Jager. “It’s a lot less expensive and more enjoyable for the members since they’re not sitting here twiddling their thumbs. This year, we reduced the amount of overtime members, although we did have a full watch on and overtime members for patrols. But very little issues, just the typical stuff like people having a little too much to drink in some cases.

“For the most part, it was a great weekend and the members had a lot of fun talking to people and going around. Most people were generally very well behaved.”

He added that this was also the case for the B.C. Day long weekend, which was Aug. 3 to 5, in that they had very little crime activity as compared to years prior.

“Typically the crime is alcohol-related on long weekends. So one of our priorities is traffic safety, so our traffic members have been out in force,” said De Jager.

READ MORE: Alleged destruction of protected bird nests in the South Okanagan investigated

De Jager said the three members of the detachment’s Street Enforcement Unit have been busy behind the scenes, targeting drug dealers and their suppliers to remove the amount of illicit drugs on city streets. He said the team has been quite successful in just the one month they’ve been in operation.

“Some of their work gets done in the shadows so you don’t see them until the actual warrant gets signed. Then it’s away they go to do the arrests. And sometimes those arrests result in the seizure of big quantities of drugs and lots of people going to jail,” said De Jager. “And sometimes, they’re more about intelligence, because that’s the nature of policing. Sometimes we are more effective than others in that regard. To date, they’ve been doing a lot of good work and getting lots of good information and drugs off the street.”

While he said crime reporting groups on social media and in apps are a great tool for residents, these are not actively monitored by RCMP unless it is for an investigation, so reporting all crimes to the detachment directly is still the most effective way to get help. De Jager said he is very in favour of community groups like Block Watch, that aim to protect their neighbourhood from crime activity, but again, any crimes, especially ongoing ones, should be directly reported to the RCMP.

There is also no news yet about when De Jager will be making the move to his new position as detachment commander of service delivery at the RCMP headquarters located in Surrey. He explained this role would look at resource problems such as the shortage of officers in Oliver, and then try to determine the best solution. In Oliver’s case, the solution is complicated because the two options are to increase funding or reallocate resources, and from the RCMP perspective they wouldn’t know where to reallocate from.

READ MORE: Penticton RCMP have the busiest detachment in B.C.

“One issue is it’s hard to find the officers to pull out of a detachment. The other thing is that we look at things like finding efficiencies, so if we create one in a certain area, then that might allow us to re-deploy,” said De Jager. “We’re not there yet to bring those two members to Oliver, although I’m sure the mayor and council would want to see that. And we’d like to see it too because they are a busy detachment, just like us.”

De Jager said it is not guaranteed that he will remain at the Penticton detachment until a replacement is found, but the community will have its say over who will take on the role since a board assembled by the city that includes the RDOS will be able to select the successful candidate from a shortlist of applicants the RCMP will provide.

To report a typo, email:

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Summerland takes the 100 Radon Test Kit Challenge

Take on Radon and the Summerland Healthy Community Initiative are partnering on the campaign.

Vees take 6-3 win against rival Salmon Arm Silverbacks

Vees’ Jay O’Brien and Lukas Sillinger both had multiple-point games.

Interior Health issues warning about opioid-laced stimulants causing recent overdoses

Interior Health is urging residents using or considering using drugs to reconsider… Continue reading

Science Matters: Forming bonds in times of crisis

The climate and ecological crises touch each of us to varying degrees.… Continue reading

Give back this holiday season with SOWINS Share the Spirit campaign

Help women and children fleeing or living with abuse have a happy holiday

VIDEO: B.C. couple creates three-storey ‘doggie mansion’ for their five pups

Group of seven, who Kylee Ryan has dubbed as the ‘wandering paws,’ have a neat setup in Jade City

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

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

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through

B.C. wildlife experts urge hunters to switch ammo to stop lead poisoning in birds

OWL, in Delta, is currently treating two eagles for lead poisoning

B.C. First Nations drop out of court challenge, sign deals with Trans Mountain

Upper Nicola Band says deal represents a ‘significant step forward’

Okanagan philanthropists treated to moving speech on National Philanthropy Day

David Roche shared his message to the Association of Fundraising Professionals and non-profits

Most Read