Superintendent Ted De Jager delivered his quarterly report to Penticton city council Tuesday, showing increases in almost every category over the same period last year. Western News file photo

Property crime on the rise in South Okanagan

Though there’s a lot of red on his charts, RCMP superintendent Ted De Jager says property crime is the big problem, not violent crime.

De Jager delivered his quarterly report to Penticton city council Tuesday, showing increases in almost every category over the same period last year.

That includes violent crimes against persons, which were up 51 per cent in the South Okanagan, and 62 per cent in Penticton.

Related: Penticton crime stats up slightly

“That has a lot to do with our scoring,” said De Jager, explaining that harassing and indecent phone calls are now considered violent crime.

De Jager’s report shows that 10 problem phone calls were counted in the 114 violent crimes reported in July and August. There were 50 common assaults, and 22 in other assault categories. 18 of the 50 common assaults involved domestic violence.

De Jager said that really accounts for a small percentage of the calls RCMP attend.

“Over 40,000 people in the summer, it is almost not measurable. As a measure of perception in the community, that is something we will be working on,” said De Jager. “When we talk about safety, the police officer talks about violent crime, the people talk about perception of safety.

Property crime, he said, is a much bigger problem.

Related: Penticton in the Top 20 for crime in 2016

“We do have a property crime issue throughout the South Okanagan,” said De Jager. “Overall, there is a rise.”

Break-and-enter crimes on businesses were up 45 per cent in the Okanagan while residential B&Es were up 17 per cent (down 15 per cent in Penticton) and thefts from vehicles were up 24 per cent.

Theft from vehicles was only up by six per cent (in Penticton only), and De Jager said that category was a concern. But, he explained, RCMP can’t be everywhere, and said people have to take responsibility.

“The reality is locking doors and removing valuables is going to prevent those things from being stolen,” said De Jager.

The RCMP, he said, is also trying to separate perception that the people that are suffering from social behaviours are criminals.

If the problem is homelessness, the solution is housing, De Jager said, explaining that enforcement isn’t going to change problem social behaviors. Pouring out a can of beer, he said, isn’t effective.

“Will that change that behaviour? No. That person will be at the park the next day,” said De Jager.

The same person who is housed, he said, will be drinking in their room.

“We are under no idea that the behaviours are going to stop, but they are drinking in their room, rather than Nanaimo Square,” said De Jager, adding that housing is also the start to getting them help with their problem.


Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
Email me or message me on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Just Posted

Sentencing for South Okanagan man who sent Christmas card to shooting victim

A South Okanagan dangerous offender tacked on another nine months of prison time

Video: Bizarre incident in Penticton alley leads to arrest of Calgary man

A man was witnessed jumping on a car ‘acting like an ape’

Gucci Mane concert officially postponed in Penticton

Agency is looking at new tour dates between the Sept. 3 and 15

Proposed pharmacy on busy Penticton corner could mean intersection improvements

The lot at 595 Carmi Ave. would be narrowed to widen the traffic lanes

Penticton block party to give a boost to local youth

Ellis on the Rise block party takes place on May 24

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

DeLongs create sterling silver jewelry

Studio in Summerland has many unique pieces available

UBC prof says report citing $89B home equity loss a ‘grassroots movement of the rich’

Report says longtime homeowners are being taxed out of their homes by the NDP

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

VegFest drops Okanagan Ice Pops as sponsor

Controversy stirs over a bacon-chocolate flavoured popsicle

Roadside device to weed out THC can’t detect impairment, B.C. lawyer says

‘This fact alone is likely to have serious implications for Canadians’ Charter Rights,’ lawyer Sarah Leamon warns

Summerland skater excels at 2019 Victoria Day Super Series

Yuzuki Onishi competed at recent skating event

Most Read